The free-trade agreement set to be signed today, October 27, 2016, by the European Union and Canada will certainly fail. Some critics see this refusal to negotiate as a sign of a more general movement towards deglobalization.
The French government buckled under pressure from the anti-globalization extreme left- and right-wing parties last September, and vetoed the conclusion of the TAFTA free-trade agreement between Europe and the United States. On the other side of the Atlantic, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both campaigning — with varying degrees of intensity — against the TPP free-trade agreement between the United States and Asia. In predictably excessive fashion, Trump is also declaring he will tear up the NAFTA free-trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico should he become president.
In this trend of national retraction observed in the West, although not in Asia, Latin America or Africa, how can we distinguish the populism from the ignorance? In both France and the United States, refusing globalization is clearly an electoral campaign ploy. But, then, why is a swathe of[...]