At the Arthur W. Page Society's Annual Conference in London recently, Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf declared that he thinks the "Western-dominated globalization process is coming to an end." He added that he wasn't sure if it was globalization that was ending, or just the Western leadership of it, but he attributes the change to the collapse of political support for the policies that have permitted globalization and trade to flourish.
The British vote for Brexit and the rise of Trump in America, Le Pen in France, Hofer in Austria and others who play on populist and nationalist fears, all suggest that many developed country voters no longer believe that globalization is in their interest. Even free-trade supporters in America, including Hillary Clinton and a number of formerly pro-trade Republican senators who are seeking re-election, have walked away from their previous support for President Obama's landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement.
The Doha Round of global trade talks lies in ruins and the outlook for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a proposed trade agreement between the European Union and the United States aimed at promoting trade and multilateral economic growth, is grim.
This represents a major threat to the well-being of consumers and workers in developing and developed companies alike. There is much at stake. But I believe there is a case to be made for trade and globalization and see a tremendous opportunity for corporate chief communication officers (CCOs) to help their companies make it.