Technology Isacc Lawrence/Stringer

When Globalization Goes Digital

As popular anger about the ill effects of globalization mounts, US policymakers can no longer afford to ignore the human toll of creative destruction. And yet, as globalization shifts from trade in goods to cross-border flows of vast amounts of data, this would be the worst moment for the US to erect protectionist barriers.

WASHINGTON, DC – American voters are angry. But while the ill effects of globalization top their list of grievances, nobody is well served when complex economic issues are reduced to bumper-sticker slogans – as they have been thus far in the presidential campaign.

It is unfair to dismiss concerns about globalization as unfounded. America deserves to have an honest debate about its effects. In order to yield constructive solutions, however, all sides will need to concede some inconvenient truths – and to recognize that globalization is not the same phenomenon it was 20 years ago.

Protectionists fail to see how the United States’ eroding industrial base is compatible with the principle that globalization boosts growth. But the evidence supporting that principle is too substantial to ignore.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.



Register for FREE to access two premium articles per month.