INTERNATIONAL Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde defended globalisation yesterday in the face of Brexit and threats to the international free trade consensus.
Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Ms Lagarde faced questions over the future of neoliberalism.
Asked how the global Establishment had failed to predict Britain’s Brexit vote or Donald Trump’s election as US president on an anti-globalisation platform, Ms Lagarde blamed a creeping, “insidious” push towards protectionism.
One of Mr Trump’s first acts after taking office was to cancel the newly signed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal long opposed by trade unions.
“We have been saying globalisation is great, international trade is great — and it is,” she claimed. “But we have not looked at those who were badly, negatively impacted.”
She blamed those negative effects in part on the destruction of jobs by increasing factory automation, as well as the shrinking gains of working people.