With the presidential primary spotlighting a bipartisan trade revolt, defenders of our status quo trade policies are on the defensive. Their latest claim: the Panama Papers leak shows that the U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) with Panama fixed that nation's infamous tax haven conduct. An actual review of the data, however, shows that the FTA seems to have incentivized more tax haven activity in Panama, not less.
While the passions of internal discord have stalled the once-confident global march of the West, the East, led by China, is looking ahead with a decades-long strategy to revive the ancient Silk Road through Eurasia as the core of the world's economy and civilization. As Oxford historian Peter Frankopan, author of "The Silk Roads: A New History of the World," writes: "The age of the West is all but at an end when it comes to taking the lead and planning for the future." (continued)
This week, two faces of globalization -- tax havens and refugee camps -- were dramatically on display. As the "Panama Papers" revealed, the super-rich and well-connected have been sending boatloads of money offshore to hide their wealth and escape taxation. Powerless and penniless refugees who risked their lives on rickety vessels to reach Europe's safe shores were being sent back from camps in Greece to an uncertain fate amid the violence, misery and insecurity of the regions from which they had escaped. (continued)