As technology brings people closer together, economies and supply-chains are shifting too. Most products are no longer made in one country: They may be designed in Europe and assembled in Asia from parts sourced elsewhere.
This can hurt those in low-skilled manufacturing jobs whose livelihoods are already under threat from increased automation. But protectionism is not the answer. If we close our borders, others will too – hurting importers, exporters and consumers.
The EU strikes trade deals to help its companies stay competitive, but also to shape globalisation for the better. Its trade agreements commit both sides to the highest environmental, health and labour standards; the EU offers market-access to developing countries that implement much-needed reforms; and it takes action against foreign governments that try to dump cheap exports in Europe.