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Globalization Is the Only Answer

The UK's Brexit referendum is the latest sign of rising public distrust of free trade. The danger should not be underestimated: Isolationism and protectionism, if taken too far, would break the trade-based economic engine that has delivered peace and prosperity to the world for decades.

WASHINGTON, DC – The Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom and the presidential race in the United States have shown, among other things, that public distrust of global integration is on the rise. That distrust could derail new trade agreements currently in the works, and prevent future ones from being initiated.

The danger implied by this scenario should not be underestimated. Isolationism and protectionism, if taken too far, would break the trade-based economic engine that has delivered peace and prosperity to the world for decades.

As a former trade minister for Costa Rica, I know how difficult it is for countries – developed and developing alike – to craft trade policies that deliver benefits to all of their people. But just because managing the effects of globalization is difficult does not mean we should throw our hands up and quit.

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