The Coronavirus Is Demonstrating the Value of Globalization

We are experiencing a painful introduction to anti-globalism and its consequences.

By David Frum | The Atlantic | March 27, 2020


To fight a pandemic, governments are erecting barriers to the movement of people and goods unlike anything seen since the end of World War II. In some ways, the new barriers are even tighter. America’s borders with Canada and Mexico remained open during the war, but they are closed now.

These interventions have been introduced as temporary measures. Globalization is suspended only for the duration, governments insist. But if we are not very careful now, during the crisis, the duration will extend itself indefinitely.

In the crisis, even the ideal of global cooperation is dying. The Trump administration did not consult with European allies—if allies remains the right word—before effectively suspending transatlantic air travel. The German government accused the Trump administration of trying to gain exclusive rights to Germany’s vaccine research, again without consultation. France and Germany forbade the export of protective medical gear to Italy. Hungary and Poland unilaterally closed their borders.

Anne Applebaum: Epidemics reveal the truth about the societies they hit

Back in January, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business of a silver lining to the epidemic: “It will help accelerate the return of jobs to North America,” he said. What we are in fact seeing is