Does the End of Globalization and Neoliberalism Mean Protectionism?

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is trade-anger.jpg

      A good article appeared recently in Foreign Affairs arguing that global trade is now being changed by the end of globalization and the end of neoliberalism. I seem to agree with most of the arguments. But I’m concerned about how clearcut these propositions are and how inevitable they are.  I recall the arguments of the early 1990’s concerning “the End of History.” Does the end of globalization mean a new regionalism or more protectionism? We’ll see. Here are some excerpts from this article. 

  • Both parties have until quite recently pursued policies … deregulating global finance, striking trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, welcoming China into the World Trade Organization (WTO). 
  • Encouraging American manufacturers to move much of their production overseas. 
  • Free-market globalism was of course pushed in large part by the powerful multinational companies best positioned to exploit it. 
  • But neoliberal policies also created immense inequalities within countries.  
  • Neoliberalism’s agnosticism about place is striking, given the origins of the political philosophy. It emerged in Europe in the 1930s, when nations were turning inward and international trade was breaking down.  
  • The notion that trade should be a handmaid to domestic policy interests fell out of favor during the Clinton administration, when the United States struck a series of trade deals and pushed for China’s entry into the WTO. 
  • What is clear is that globalization is in retreat, at least in terms of trade and capital flows. 
  • Muscular industrial policy will be increasingly common in the post-neoliberal world. 
  • Even in the United States, most Democrats and a growing number of Republicans believe that government has a role to play in supporting national competitiveness and resilience.  
  • As U.S. policymakers and business leaders seek to address these challenges, they must push back against conventional economic thinking. 
  • Instead of assuming that deregulation, financialization, and hyperglobalization are inevitable, they should embrace the coming era of regionalization and localization and work to create productive economic opportunities. 

After Neoliberalism – All Economics is Local.” Foreign Affairs (Oct. 2022). 

About Stuart Malawer

Distinguished Service Professor of Law & International Trade at George Mason University (Schar School of Public Policy).
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s