The Globalization Backlash: Is America Slouching Towards Protectionism?

During their lifetimes, American adults have watched manufacturing jobs move from northern states to the south and then overseas, as auto, textile and now computer manufacturers chase after workers willing to work for low wages. Toshiba shifted a plant from Tennessee to Mexico, where workers assemble computers with parts from China for $8 per day. “Americans wouldn't have such a hard time accepting the gradual disappearance of their old, once well-paid factory jobs if the jobs that have replaced them weren't so awful,” writes Gabor Steingart for Spiegel Online. The US, once the world’s leading advocate for free trade, benefits no more. US presidential candidates respond to an angry US electorate with protectionism, extreme proposals that would be difficult to carry out and likely cause more economic pain. The economic challenges of globalization – jobs lost to outsourcing, declining wages and benefits – have overtaken the war in Iraq as the front-and-center issue for US voters. US economic policies impact the global economy – and protectionist measures will only backfire. There's no easy route to reducing immense public debt, slowing spending and encouraging innovation. Expressing indignation about the challenges is easy, but US citizens must prepare to scrutinize the economic policies proposed by every candidate. – YaleGlobal

The Globalization Backlash: Is America Slouching Towards Protectionism?

Gabor Steingart
Friday, January 11, 2008

Click here to read the article in Spiegel Online.

This article is translated from the German by Christopher Sultan.

© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2008 All Rights Reserved Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH