Trade has become one of the more controversial issues of the G20, but also of the G7 and international politics in general: You remember the battles in G7 or G20 summits in recent years about “protectionism” vs “free trade”. The notion so carefully nurtured by the G20 governments over the last decades that globalization is a one-way street, that it can never be turned back, is now openly exposed as what it has always been: wishful thinking. Indeed, for a lot of people, globalization has gone too far. Today, in most democratic countries, you don’t win elections by promising more free trade, more globalization – such promises are vote-losers. Let us look at the reasons.
Speech by Jürgen Maier, German NGO Forum Environment & Development, at the C20 Summit in Tokyo, 23 April 2019.