Thursday Aug 24, 2023

What the World Risks if It Abandons Globalization

After World War II, an idea took hold: economic interdependence between countries would help prevent war. But lately, faith in this idea has wavered, and terms like “decoupling,” “friend shoring,” and “de-risking” are dominating the debates around trade in Washington and beyond. 

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director general of the World Trade Organization, disagrees with key elements of this new consensus. She thinks that policymakers are misdiagnosing the problems that the world faces, and that they risk setting us on a dangerous course—one that could break the global economy and leave the world both less prosperous and less secure. 

We discuss why views on global trade have changed so dramatically in recent years, China’s integration into the global trading system, and what would happen if the world fragmented into two trading blocs. 

You can find transcripts and more episodes of The Foreign Affairs Interview at

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