The economic argument against protectionism

Andrew Leigh at the launch of his paper, “Choosing Openness: Why global engagement is best for Australia” at the National Press Club in Canberra on September 27. Photo by: Lisa Cornish / Devex

CANBERRA — Nationalism and protectionism are growing globally. In September, an extremist far-right party took seats in the German parliament for the first time since World War II. It followed historic results for the far-right in the Netherlands, Denmark and Hungary. In France, neither of the traditional parties made the election runoff. In a period of just over two years, between 2013 and 2015, Australia had four prime ministers and trust in politicians was at a record low.

Facing inward on matters of politics has become the focus of the growing far-right parties and distrust of foreigners and foreign investment, and lack of support for foreign aid have been outcomes of protectionist policies.

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About the author

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    Lisa Cornish

    Lisa Cornish is a Devex Reporter based in Canberra, where she focuses on the Australian aid community. Lisa formerly worked with News Corp Australia as a data journalist for the national network and was published throughout Australia in major metropolitan and regional newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph in Melbourne, Herald Sun in Melbourne, Courier-Mail in Brisbane, and online through news.com.au. Lisa additionally consults with Australian government providing data analytics, reporting and visualization services. Lisa was awarded the 2014 Journalist of the Year by the New South Wales Institute of Surveyors.