Scapegoating globalization won't solve economic woes

Updated 2017-01-19 09:20:14 Xinhua

Finding a scapegoat for the prolonged global economic quagmire is easy, while coming up with practical solutions is not.

The current global economic situation is the result of a lack of new growth engines, inadequate global economic governance and uneven development. Obviously, these problems will never be solved by a shift away from globalization.

Economic globalization is a double-edged sword, but its benefits far outweigh the costs, whether for developed and developing economies, or the world as a whole.

Take a look at the benefits that the United States reaps due to its position. Free trade has lowered the price of food, clothing and other goods that working-class Americans use the bulk of their paychecks to buy.

Moreover, foreign direct investment in the United States is adding millions of new jobs each year. Chinese investment, alone, already accounts for over 100,000 jobs and this is still growing, according to a report by Rhodium Group and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

There is no doubt that the United States has lost some manufacturing jobs to lower-cost countries as a result of globalization, but this situation is also the result of technological innovation and industrial upgrading.

This is also what is happening in China, as some of its manufacturing moves to Southeast Asia. Yet instead of building trade barriers, China has chosen to boost innovation and industrial upgrading to give it an edge.

Economic globalization has created new problems, but this should not be used as a justification to write off economic globalization completely.

In a world of increasing interdependence, free trade, foreign investment and increased mobility of people -- components of economic globalization -- are the preconditions for economic growth. No country can develop by itself.

Economic globalization is a bell that cannot be un-rung. The question should not be whether or not to promote it, but how to make it more inclusive and ensure its benefits are shared.

It is crucial to maintain openness. Reforms are needed at home to boost innovation, adjust economic structure and address income inequality, while international cooperation and policy coordination should be enhanced to avoid disputes.

Discontent is understandable during hard times, but it is more proactive for policy makers to provide solutions with far-reaching vision than to lambaste globalization.

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