Globalization: Path to Prosperity or Race to the Bottom?
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 / 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Whittier Room


Staci Warden, Executive Director, Center for Financial Markets, Milken Institute

Victoria Espinel, President and CEO, BSA, Software Alliance; Former U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, the White House
Tony Fratto, Partner, Hamilton Place Strategies; Former Deputy Press Secretary, the White House
Francisco González Díaz, CEO, ProMéxico
Clark Roberts, Deputy Minister, Ministry of International Trade, British Columbia, Canada
Stefan Selig, Under Secretary for International Trade, U.S. Department of Commerce

For years, many governments seemed able to consistently sell the public on the merits of increased trade among nations and the broader concept of globalization of businesses and institutions. But the mood has shifted markedly since the Great Recession. A strong undercurrent in the global debate over income inequality is the question of who really benefits from growing trade. Has it created more and better jobs overall? Or have trade agreements simply fueled a faster "race to the bottom" in the hunt for the lowest-cost labor and the highest possible corporate profit? Trade was supposed to spur faster economic growth. Will the anemic global growth rate since 2008 make it difficult for countries to stay on the path to greater trade, as protectionist sentiment rises? How can policymakers make the case for more trade in this environment? Are regional agreements the smartest way to go, versus broader global discussions? Can globalization survive the post-2008 backlash?