Born in Cape Town, Natale Labia lives in Milan, Italy, and writes on the economy and finance. Partner of private equity firm Lionhead Capital Partners. MBA from Università Bocconi. Supports Juventus.
In today’s globalised economy, the key is how capital is handled, not the approach to trade
Who is at least supposed to benefit from economic and trade policy? Much has been written on the extraordinary speech made earlier this month by the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on the resetting of China-US trade relations.
However, what has perhaps been missed is just how seminal it is in the emergence of a new narrative on what trade and economic policy are actually meant to do.
For the past four decades, until Donald Trump was elected into office, US trade and economic policy had one objective in mind. This was the age of the Washington Consensus, the neoliberal agenda. Neoliberalism, as Philip Roth said, simply meant socialism for the wealthy and capitalism for everyone else. The prime objective was to keep one person happy: the great American consumer.
When Francis Fukuyama wrote the essay The End of History and the Last Man he was merely stating what was broadly accepted to…