The deceptive promise of free trade

Deustch Welle, Published on Jun 6, 2018

Global trade is a hot topic of the G7 summit in Canada. Is free trade truly free – and fair? What roles do US President Trump, economic powerhouse China, and the EU play in global trade?

When it comes to global trade, it would seem that trickery, threats and deception are the order of the day – yet all this takes place largely beyond the reach of the public eye. Donald Trump has made “America First” his agenda and rallying cry. Along with aiming sharp criticism at global export champion Germany, Trump has also introduced punitive tariffs and warned of further measures. Will this fresh wave of protectionism lead to economic isolationism and threaten global free trade? And what about those for whom free trade’s promise of prosperity increasingly rings hollow? Around the world, many people have come to regard themselves as the losers of globalization. If the true winners of free trade and globalization are not ordinary citizens, has the time come to revise the liberal orthodoxy of free trade? This documentary visits Germany, Switzerland, the United States and Cameroon to explore these issues by way of some everyday examples, including the trade in onions, floor tiles, and bicycles.

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