Financial TimesFinancial Times

My guide to a deglobalising world

By Rana Foroohar

21 Oct 2022 · 11 min read

Editor's Note

The move away from global economic integration is creating both challenges and opportunities, according to Financial Times columnist Rana Foroohar. This is her guide to navigating the new world order.

I’ll never forget an interview I did years ago with the late Richard Trumka, the then-president of the AFL-CIO, America’s largest labour union. Trumka, a tough-talking former Pennsylvania coal miner turned lawyer, told me about a conversation he had had in the 1990s with a Clinton administration official about the fallout of Nafta, which had been ratified in 1993, and the potential impact of China coming into the global trading system.

Trumka was concerned about a sudden flood of cheap labour into the global marketplace, and the effect it would have on American workers’ incomes and lives. “I told [the official] that the deals would kill us, and he agreed.” But the official said that after a while, “wages would start to go up again, and things would even out around the world”. When Trumka asked him how long this process of “levelling out” might take, he answered: “about three to five generations”.

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