Anger over tariffs obscures a shift in patterns of global trade



Susan Lund | Financial Times

Developed economies that reject globalisation all stand to gain from its next chapter.

While US President Donald Trump seems to have temporarily soothed trade tensions with China by delaying a planned increase in tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods, the threat of levies on US imports of foreign cars and car parts remains. And America’s trading partners look ready to retaliate.

Governments that once carried the banner for free trade are now retreating into protectionism. But this is precisely the wrong moment for economies to turn inward — particularly advanced ones.

Over the past decade, globalisation has undergone little-noticed but profound structural shifts that are tilting the playing field in favour of advanced economies. The US, UK and countries across Europe all stand to gain in globalisation’s next chapter — if they don’t slam the door prematurely.
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