The end of global trade no. “Globalization” as we’ve known in over the last 30 years? Perhaps.
This morning as I was driving up to Washington DC I heard a point made on Bloomberg that we’ve made many times in this space. What has been called “free trade,” NAFTA, TPP, etc. is not FREE TRADE. It is in fact very managed trade. Which is to say inherently crony trade.
As the commentator put things this morning, a “free trade” agreement might need 2-3 pages. (If that.) The “free trade” agreements we have now are thousands of pages long.
That is not free trade.
Unfortunately we may be looking at another perturbation of “managed trade” in the immediate future.
People in Silicon Valley are complacent about the march toward global expansion, he said.
“There’s a technological determinism story you can tell where this is the future and China will eventually buckle under and cave and eventually adopt all of these things,” he said. “But then you might wonder, maybe this doesn’t happen at all, and maybe it’s possible for the internet to actually fragment and not to have this historical necessity to it.”
No one in their right mind would start an organization with the word “global” in its title today, he said. “That’s so 2005, it feels so dated,” he said. To illustrate the point, Thiel took aim at the annual Davos World Economic Forum.
“A decade ago, this was a group of people who were running the world,” he said. “And now, it’s just a group of people who messed up the world.”