Experts say free trade has lifted hundreds of millions of people from poverty in recent decades, but rich and poor countries alike have begun to doubt its benefits. Britain shocked the world last year by voting to leave the European Union, its biggest trading partner. Anti-free trade sentiment is on the rise elsewhere, and Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election in November on a platform of economic nationalism. All of this follows the 2008 collapse of global trade talks, when poor countries balked at further moves to lower trade barriers. As a result, the era of expanded global trade may be at an inflection point. As the United States and Britain appear to be balking at further globalization, the European Union and Japan recently agreed to a new free-trade pact, and globalization proponents are searching for a country to replace the United States as the world’s leader on open trade.

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