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Unlikely culprits behind closing of world economy

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Sydney - Pundits and policymakers everywhere are bemoaning the rise of a new, inward-looking populism. Led by the likes of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage, those who've felt only globalisation's ill effects, not its benefits, have mounted a fierce counterattack. 

Border-hopping elites fret that the whole process of opening up and knitting together the world through trade, capital flows and immigration may soon go into reverse.

They're missing the point. Support for freer trade and greater openness had in fact begun to falter well before economic nationalists like Trump and Farage took centre stage. The same governments that count themselves among globalisation's greatest champions have been rolling it back steadily since the global financial crisis.

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