3/9/2016 The Economist
THESE are dark days for globalisation. In America, presidential candidates are talking about building walls and unpicking trade deals. Brazil, another giant of the Americas, seems as protectionist as ever. Britain is preparing to hold a referendum on withdrawing from the European Union. The EU as a whole is bickering over what to do about a swelling tide of refugees.
Yet there is at least some light in the darkness. Mexico, for instance, continues to carry a torch for globalisation. President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration boasts about the country’s 44 trade deals, more than any other country, and its 11 reform initiatives. The World Bank calculates that Mexico is one of the most open large economies in the world: exports plus imports are equivalent to 66% of GDP, compared with 26% for Brazil and 42% for China. The Boston Consulting Group finds in a survey that its people take a positive view of the future: 77% of Mexicans say they are optimistic, and only 6% that they are very pessimistic. Mexicans see the likes of Donald Trump as being cut from the same cloth as the old-fashioned Latin American strongmen who ruined the region through protectionism and gesture politics.