This paper focuses on concerns over wages, jobs, and future prospects are real and pressing for those who are not well equipped to thrive in this new world. History clearly tells us that closing borders or increasing protectionism is not the way to go. Many countries have tried this route, and just as many have failed. Instead, we need to pursue policies that extend the benefits of openness and integration while alleviating their side effects. Emerging and developing economies have been the prime beneficiaries of economic openness. According to the World Bank, trade has helped reduce by half the pro¬portion of the global population living in extreme poverty. China, for instance, saw a phenomenal drop in its extreme poverty rate—from 36 percent at the end of the 1990s to 6 percent in 2011. Another example is Vietnam, which—in a single generation—moved from being one of the world’s poorest nations to middle-in¬come status—which has allowed for increased investments in health and education.



World Bank figures: World Development Indicators.


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Pablo Fagjelbaum and Amit Khandelwal, 2016, Measuring the Unequal Gains from Trade, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2016.


U.S. President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA): Report: The Economic Benefits of Trade, May 2015.


Justin R. Pierce and Peter K. Schott: The Surprisingly Swift Decline of U.S. Manufacturing Employment, NBER Working Paper, December 2012.


David Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon Hanson: The China Shock: Learning from Labor Market Adjustment to Large Changes in Trade, NBER Working Paper, February 2016.


Countries: Canada, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, United States. IMF Note: Global Prospects and Policy Challenges, G20 Leaders’ Summit, September 4–5, 2016.


For more information on the Nordic model: IMF note on Labor Market Policies, IMF paper on Jobs and Growth.


Jason Furman: Benefits of Competition and Indicators of Market Power, U.S. President’s Council of Economic Advisers Issue Brief, April 2016.


IMF, World Economic Outlook database.


Frigidaire is the American consumer and commercial home appliances brand subsidiary of European parent company Electrolux.


Rob Cox: Cuts like a knife, Reuters, Breaking Views Column.


David Autor, 2014, “Why Are There Still So Many Jobs? The History and Future of Workplace Automation,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 3–30.


World Trade Organization figure.


Lionel Fontagné and others, Estimations of Tariff Equivalents for the Services Sectors, Paper, Centre d’Études Prospectives et d’Informations Internationales (CEPII), December 2011.

Born in Paris in 1956, Christine Lagarde completed high school in Le Havre and attended Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland (USA). She then graduated from law school at University Paris X and obtained a Master’s degree from the Political Science Institute in Aix en Provence.

After being admitted as a lawyer to the Paris bar, Lagarde joined the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie as an associate, specializing in labor, anti-trust, and mergers and acquisitions. A member of the Executive Committee of the firm in 1995, Lagarde became the Chairman of the Global Executive Committee of Baker & McKenzie in 1999, and subsequently Chairman of the Global Strategic Committee in 2004.

Lagarde joined the French government in June 2005 as Minister for Foreign Trade. After a brief stint as Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, in June 2007 she became the first woman to hold the post of Finance and Economy Minister of a G7 country. From July to December 2008, she also chaired the ECOFIN Council, which brings together economics and finance ministers of the European Union.

As a member of the G20, Lagarde was involved in the group’s management of the financial crisis, helping to foster international policies related to financial supervision and regulation and to strengthen global economic governance. As Chairman of the G20 when France took over its presidency in 2011, she launched a wide-ranging work agenda on the reform of the international monetary system.

In July 2011, Lagarde became the eleventh Managing Director of the IMF and the first woman to hold that position.

Lagarde was named Officier in the Légion d’honneur in April 2012.

A former member of the French national team for synchronized swimming, Christine Lagarde is the mother of two sons.