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Opinion
The Editors

Protectionism Is a Mounting Threat to Global Growth

A “post-globalization” world would be poorer, less innovative, and more vulnerable to conflict. Free trade needs a spirited defense.

This is what progress looks like.

This is what progress looks like.

Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Learning the right lessons from the pandemic is essential, but jumping to the wrong conclusions will only add to its costs. In trade policy, this is no hypothetical danger. It’s happening.

Even before Covid, many governments had abandoned their support for liberal trade. Remarkably, at President Donald Trump’s initiative, the U.S. set this new direction, and President Joe Biden then followed his lead. (“Trump without the tweets,” as one analyst put it.)