A Comeback for Global Trade?
- Jul 20, 2017
By Peter G. Hall, Vice-President and Chief Economist, Export Development Canada
It has been a dreary decade for international trade. From the heights in 2008, global trade flows plunged, staged a quick partial revival, then went into a holding pattern from then until now. In terms of trade intensity, we are far from what we used to be, and many are resigned to our current state as a permanent new normal. The debate on the future of trade has reached a fever pitch, and resulted in a lot of public acrimony. In the context of trade's track record and the public backlash against its supporting architecture, is a comeback even possible?
Broadly-based disappointment in trade performance is understandable. After all, hopes were so high that in a world of static and even declining populations, the spread of trade would include masses of new consumers and increase productivity through globalization of supply
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