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German G20 Adam Berry/Stringer

Germany, the G20, and Inclusive Globalization

The populist agenda is based on the deeply flawed premise that international cooperation and international trade are zero-sum games, producing only winners and losers. In fact, cooperation and trade can deliver benefits to all countries, and, during its G20 presidency, Germany intends to show how.

BERLIN – Globalization is getting increasingly bad press in the West nowadays. Populist movements allege that it does not benefit the average citizen very much, if at all. Instead, they tout protectionism and unilateralism. National policies, whether with respect to trade or financial regulation, are seen as the surest way to restore national greatness.

But this populist agenda is based on the deeply flawed premise that international cooperation and international trade are zero-sum games, producing only winners and losers. In fact, cooperation and trade can deliver benefits to all countries. For many years now, they have increased global security and certainly global prosperity, with hundreds of millions of people lifted out of poverty, both in the developed and the developing world.

To be sure, globalization needs rules and a recognized framework to ensure that it benefits everybody, delivering sustained and inclusive economic growth. As with national legislation, it is a framework that requires constant adjustments. But to abandon it altogether and retreat from globalization is the wrong answer. On the contrary, we should be seeking ways to deepen and broaden international economic cooperation.

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