In the wake of Donald Trump’s election to the US presidency, the ‘losers’ from globalization have received unprecedented attention. While few would contest that manufacturing workers in developed countries have lost out over the past decades, the remedies proposed by President Trump have been met with a mixture of concern and ridicule by the trade establishment. And, yet, it seems clear that, at least in the USA, politicians and trade officials are no longer able to convince voters that international economic agreements will ‘lift all boats’. Instead, those engaged in debates about trade policy will need to be open about the fact that international economic agreements create both winners and losers. This article identifies three narratives about who those winners and losers are. The article argues that the contestation between these three narratives is not one that can be resolved through empirical analysis but, instead, that the narratives contain irreducible normative elements. The article further explores the implications of these narratives for the redesign of international economic agreements.
Lamp, N. (2019). How Should We Think about the Winners and Losers from Globalization? Three Narratives and Their Implications for the Redesign of International Economic Agreements. European Journal of International Law, 30(4), 1359–1397. https://doi.org/10.1093/ejil/chz067