The Orphans of Neoliberal Globalization

By Emir Sader on January 25, 2017

Ban on Argentine lemons to U.S. to continue. Photo: Bill Hackwell

It was the inevitable road; one which exceeded all that history had lived up to before that point. Free trade, the opening of national markets, the end of nation states, the free flow of capital in the neo-liberal globalization river inexorably ended the historic movement of universalization of capitalist relations initiated centuries ago.

We lived that privileged moment of co modification of the world, in front of which disappeared all other alternatives with national restrictions and anti-trade barriers. The regulations that hindered the free expansion of capital have begun to disappear. Some Latin American countries had resisted and acted against these irreversible global trends, until Argentina and Brazil resumed the path of neoliberal globalization and the future was again open to those countries.

The election of Hillary Clinton was to Crown its future, with a renewed liberalism, having Macri and Temer as protagonists back in the fold. Everything was now set for the history of Latin America to resume the way wrongly abandoned by means of populism. At this time Hillary Clinton was to be parading over the political bridges in the region using the neoliberal appearance pulled out of the closet and celebrated by the Governments of Macri and Temer. Chile had stated that TPP (Trans-Pacific Agreement) was the agreement of the century. Mexico had already tied its destiny to the North America Free Trade Agreement.

Suddenly the departure of Great Britain from the European Union by vote indicated that something was out of kilter in the planned world order.

On the heels of that development Donald Trump wins the U.S. election and cancels the participation of the United States in TPP, as well as resigning from the Free Trade Agreement with Europe and is questioning the existence of the NAFTA treaty with Mexico and Canada.

The compass of the neoliberals is suddenly now stuck. The future is not what it was supposed to be. Those who until now sold that future now deny it and are returning to protectionism which before they said was definitely over. They got out of the free trade agreements that they had announced before as their forced destination. Suddenly they are returning to the defense of jobs within the country, when before they exploited cheap labor abroad calling it the path of improving the lives of all.

Overall the future is no longer what it was. It has been returned to be re opened. What they said was over forever is coming back with force. What was promised as the inevitable fate has ceased to be.

Those who had tied their destiny to the neoliberal globalization model are now orphans. The Brazilian Foreign Minister José Serra promised to take Brazil to the TPP, which no longer exists. Argentina and Brazil tried to weaken the spaces of regional integration based on their return to subordination to the United States. Now, just like Mexico, their doors are closing. (Already the shift has cost Argentina the bitter closing of their export of lemons. To Mexico it has cost everything; jobs, investments and remittances from the United States)

There is no mandatory destiny for humanity. The future is open and will be decided by the ways that the people decide, democratically. Why doesn’t Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, with sovereign Governments, decide soon to redirect its external policies towards extending and reinforcing the process of Latin American integration. Why not?

Source: Pagina 12, translated by Resumen Latinoamericano – North American Bureau