Canada isn't so different. It could go populist too

How long can politicians avoid real talk about how globalisation has failed the middle class?

TORONTO • It has become taboo in Canada's established political circles to question what the world trading order has done to the country's vaunted middle class. Vocally criticising free trade deals, such as the recently negotiated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and denouncing them as harmful to middle-income workers, risks being ridiculed as "nativist" or "retrograde".

The problem is that trade liberalisation has been at the root of a decline for millions of Canadians over the past 30 years.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2019, with the headline 'Canada isn't so different. It could go populist too'. Print Edition | Subscribe