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Is protectionism a ‘siren song’ to the poor or to the wealthy?

Jolanda Jetten and TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, Frank Mols, write in The Conversation (4.10.16) about the increasing calls in many developed countries, including Australia, for protectionist trade or immigration barriers. Among the comments posted beneath the article is a critique by TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, Geoff Edwards, of some of the points raised.

‘With Britain voting to leave the European Union, the revival of One Nation in Australia and Donald Trump continuing his campaign for the US presidency, it looks as if Western democracies are more interested than ever in closing their borders. How do we explain this?

‘We live in an increasingly intertwined global economy. Whether we like it or not, we are more dependent on close relations with foreign markets than ever before in history. Why, then, would we want to weaken instead of strengthen our ties with other countries?’

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