Is Donald Trump and the Brit’s right in stopping the concept of ‘open borders and trade’…or will things resume after the coronavirus subsides ?
Well before a deadly virus began spreading across multiple borders, a world defined by deepening interconnection appeared to be reassessing the merits of globalization.
The United States, led by the unabashed nationalist Donald J. Trump, was ordering multinational companies to abandon China and make their goods in American factories. Britain was forsaking the European Union, almost certainly reviving customs checks on both sides of the English Channel, while threatening to disrupt a vital trading relationship.
A surge of refugees fleeing some of the most dangerous places on earth — Syria, Afghanistan, Central America — had produced a backlash against immigration in many developed countries. In Europe, it elevated the stature of extreme right-wing parties that were winning votes with promises to slam the gates shut. President Trump was pursuing the construction of a wall running along the border with Mexico, while seeking to bar Muslims from entering the country.
The coronavirus that has seeped out of China, insinuating itself into at least 76 countries while killing more than 3,200 people, has effectively accelerated and intensified the pushback to global connection.
It has sown chaos in the global supply chain that links factories across borders and oceans, enabling plants that produce finished products to draw parts, components and raw materials from around the world. Many companies are now seeking alternative suppliers in countries that appear less vulnerable to disruption.
The epidemic has supplied Europe’s right-wing parties a fresh opportunity to sound the alarm about open borders. It has confined millions of people to their communities and even inside their homes, giving them time to ponder whether globalization was really such a great idea.
“It reinforces all the fears about open borders,” said Ian Goldin, a professor of globalization and development at Oxford University and an author of a 2014 book that anticipated a backlash to liberalism via a pandemic, “The Butterfly Defect: How Globalization Creates Systemic Risks, and What to Do About It.”
“In North America and Europe, there is a recalibration, a wanting to engage on a more selective basis,” he said…..