The Backlash of Globalization

TheBacklash of Globalization

JiEun Yoon



Nov10, 2016

TheBacklash of Globalization

OnNovember 8th, 2016 Americans elected a populist leader as thepresident of the United States. Donald Trump is a populist leaderbecause he aims at putting the interest of the Americans first, atthe expense of the global community. His main intention is to limitimmigration and importation in the United States. This politicalstrategy hinders globalization because it discourages the freemovement of people and economics resources. This paper will arguethat current stresses and strains have historical parallels, and thatpolicy makers need to address globalization so as to safeguard thepolitical, social, and economic interests of the national society.

Globalizationentails the rapid transfer of products, individuals, and informationinternationally. The high mobility of resources enhances interactionbetween multiple national economies and cultures. Development ofregional trading areas improves the exchange of economic resourcesbetween several countries. For example, interdependence between theUnited States and Canada, and the European Union (EU) encourages freetrade between several countries in Europe (Theeconomists who foresaw the backlash against globalization,2016).

Populismis a political, social, and economic concept that reduces theinfluence of business and political leaders in government processes.It motivates ordinary citizens to be more active in determininggovernment decisions and processes. In the United States, BernieSanders is a populist Democrat politician who encourages youths toelect a government that will ensure affordability of collegeeducation and increase in employment opportunities.

Freetrade is a global trade concept that eliminates restrictions in theexchange of economic resources between countries (Cowen &amp Smith,2016). Import and export business is encouraged by removing taxesfor example, value added tax, customs duty, and excise duty.

NiallFerguson in his article “Sinking Globalization” warnsreaders thattoday’s globalization seems likely to collapse as globalization ofearlier era around 1914-1945. Globalization of early era had thrivedfor trade, immigration, migration of people, and capital across theworld. However, after this era, globalization began collapsing due toWorld War One. The global environment became hostile to trade.Reviving the global economy after the First World War was challengingdue to the emergence of the Great Depression and the Second World War(Ferguson, 2005). This collapse causedall worlds’ economy to be destroyed sharply. The author said,“despite numerous warnings issued in the early twentieth centuryabout the catastrophic consequences of a war among the European greatpowers, many people were taken completely by surprise by the outbreakof World War One”, which implies that current globalization is inhorrible circumstances, just as the past globalization. There arefive aspects that explain this situation. First of all, empires haveexhausted resources and have declining global responsibilities.Another reason is great power competition. Instability of thealliance system, also, causes de- globalization. Moreover, sponsoringterror systems causes instability in globalization. Lastly, increasein anti-capitalist terrorist organizations proves a serious menace tothe world economy. In conclusion, Niall Ferguson (2005) explains howour age of globalization is at a critical moment, and this phenomenoncould be a parallel instance to past globalization with samepatterns.

Thepopulist backlash is also manifested through an increase in theactivities of populist parties and political leaders in the UnitedStates and Europe. The 2016 elections in the United States illustratepopulist political leaders. The Republican Presidential CandidateDonald Trump is a populist because he aims at restricting immigrationin the United States. He wants to prevent Muslims from entering thecountry. Controlling immigration reduces the free flow of laboracross several countries. BREXIT is a populist event that strives toseparate the United Kingdom from the European Union. The British exithinders free trade in the United Kingdom because internationalbusiness people will not have complete access to the United Kingdommarket (AnOpen and Shut Case,2016).

Economistsknow that free trade is challenging to support politically. Thebenefits of free trade are significant and widely spread. However,the associated costs are high and concentrated. Societies affected bythe costs strive to safeguard the economy through protectionism(Leaders:Inequality and the American Dream,2006). “The Wealth of Nations,” which was published by Adam Smithin 1776 enhanced global openness in trade and politics. However,there is always opposition to globalization and free trade. In somecases, globalization generates forces that minimize or hinderpolitical support for economic integration. International integrationand advances in technology increase social inequality. Governmentsaddress inequality by enhancing education and redistribution ofeconomic resources. However, inequality may cause harmful effectsfor example, political upheavals (AnOpen and Shut Case,2016).

Governmentscan address the globalization challenges through effective policyresponse. Governments should support organizations and programs thatminimize inequality. Companies that offer sufficient jobopportunities should be supported. The Obama administration supportedthe automobile sector because it employed thousands of Americans. TheObama administration also adopted monetary and fiscal policies thatimproved the banking and housing sector. The measures safeguarded theproperty values and employment of Americans (Donnan, 2016).

Theincreasing populist backlash has adverse effects on the national andinternational society. It limits the activities of multinationalcorporations that employ thousands of people internationally.American organization for example, General Motors, General Electric,Microsoft, Apple, and Ivy League Universities, will lose revenueswhen free movement of people and economic resources is restricted.The backlash occurs because of a combination of factors. Countrieswant to protect local companies. They, therefore, limit imports toensure that domestic companies have sufficient markets. Americanpoliticians aim at protecting local industries by limiting theimportation of commodities from China (Donnan, 2016). Most peopleelect political leaders who aim at protecting the domestic industriesthat offer employment to citizens. There are some wrong issues withthe present globalization process. It facilitates the operations ofinternational businesses that maximize profits (Leaders:Inequality and the American Dream,2006). These multinationals have extra resources and, therefore, theyeasily enter foreign markets and limit the operations of domesticcompanies. Countries can protect local industries by preventingmarket dominance. The local companies can be encouraged toparticipate at an equal level in the market through subsidies andtax-friendly programs. Governments can also protect local businessorganizations by zero-rating the cost of business inputs. Thezero-rate tax policies reduces the cost of running local businessesbecause of zero taxation.

Globalizationis important because it links countries together in the areas ofcommerce, politics, and cultures. The world is increasingly becominginterconnected because of high levels of innovation in the area oftransport and communication. The ultimate aim of any organization isto become global by having branches in different countries. Thebacklash against globalization should, therefore, be addressed bysafeguarding the political, social, and economic interests of thenational society.


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FergusonN. (2005). “Sinking Globalization.” ForeignAffairs,84(2), 64.

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