For a period of time, going global just seemed to make sense. But with China’s rise, Covid-19, and the war in Ukraine, words like “localnomics,” “friends-shoring,” and “decoupling” have helped codify a growing movement that calls for less interdependence between economies. Those in favor of a more “deglobalized” system of trade argue that it is not only more environmentally friendly and responsive to regional needs, but also less of a driver of income inequality. Indeed, globalization’s three-decade trend of trade growing at twice the speed of the world economy has not lifted all boats, they argue. For many, including middle income populations in the industrialized west, it has backfired. Deglobalization is a welcome a shift. Others disagree. Globalization’s virtues are unmistakable, they say, resulting in less poverty and higher incomes across the world. People once cut off from markets benefit from new connections in commerce, culture, and communications. For them, it has not backfired. In fact, in the face of political challenges and volatile markets, more regionally-focused trade constitutes a dangerous circling of the wagons. In this context, we ask the question: Has Globalization Backfired?
This debate is presented and produced in partnership with YPO EDGE and will take place in front of a live audience, at the YPO EDGE convention. This live debate will not be released publicly until January 13, 2023, via public radio and through the Intelligence Squared U.S. podcast.