Globalisation fears – where French and US citizens meet

December 9, 2006

A recent survey commissioned by the German Marshall Fund found that:

Americans and French apprehensive over open markets: American and French respondents wish to keep trade barriers to protect businesses, even if this means slower growth. They showed the highest levels of opposition to trade liberalization – 55% of French and 31% of American respondents do not favor freer trade. American (59%) and French respondents (58%) say freer trade costs jobs. But French respondents also showed the lowest confidence in freer trade providing consumer benefits (63%), helping poor countries (39%), increasing global prosperity (49%), and supporting democracy (45%). More Americans believe it has consumer benefits (78%), helps poor countries (70%), increases global prosperity (68%), and supports democracy (65%).

China viewed as threatening: Fifty-nine percent of both Americans and Europeans believe that China’s growing economy is a threat because of competition from low-cost Chinese products and U.S. and European firms relocating to China. Seventy percent of French, 67% of Polish, 66% of Italian, and 65% of Slovak respondents expressed fears over China’s emerging economy.”

For once, views converge…. Reviving the Doha Round will not be easy in this context. Will Pascal Lamy’s (Secretary General of the WTO and a Frenchman) recent outcry change matters?

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