Wednesday, July 13, 2016
How to embrace nationalism responsibly
By Lawrence Summers July 10
The writer is a professor at and past president of Harvard University. He was treasury secretary from 1999 to 2001 and an economic adviser to President Obama from 2009 through 2010.
It is clear after the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory in the Republican presidential primaries that electorates are revolting against the relatively open economic policies that have been the norm in the United States and Britain since World War II. If further evidence is needed, one need only look to the inability of Congress to pass legislation on immigration reform and the observation that the last four candidates left standing in the U.S. presidential contest all oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Populist opposition to international integration is also on the rise in much of continental Europe and has always been the norm in much of Latin America.
The question now is: What should be the guiding principles of international economic policy? How should the case be made by those of us who believe that the vastly better performance of the global system after World War II than between World War I and World War II was largely due to more enlightened economic policies?