There was a time when trade was a slow-moving tanker of a topic – what we, at New Internationalist, would call a ‘solid development issue’.
Not in these times of Brexit turmoil and a Trumpian trade war with China. As we go to press, there is little certainty about how events will pan out over the next couple of hours – let alone months.
The themes, and language, being used in relation to these trade-related crises are extreme and indicative. ‘Betrayal’, ‘rape’, ‘theft’, ‘cliff-edge’, ‘crash-out’, ‘blood on the streets’, ‘economic decline’, ‘disaster’, ‘a great unravelling’, ‘war’...
For this month’s Big Story, I delve into the thicket of global trade – interviewing and consulting experts and campaigners from around the world. My aim is not just to make sense of what’s going on, but also to dig into what’s missing from the blow-by-blow reporting in the media; to examine the underlying causes of the current crises; the important impacts of the free-trade system that just aren’t being discussed; and the implications for citizens in countries that aren’t powerful players on the world stage. And, in true New Internationalist fashion, this issue does not stop at reporting what is – but goes the extra mile to envisage how things could be with a 14-point plan on what a better, fairer, more sustainable trading system might look like.
Elsewhere in this edition, our Cartoon History takes us to Haiti and the story of liberation leader Toussaint Louverture, and to India, where our columnist reports on how the #MeToo movement is frightening Indian men.
Vanessa Baird for the New Internationalist co-operative.
Climate change is the salient symptom of a human world unwilling – or unable – to protect its own life. In this lyrical essay, Daniel Macmillen Voskoboynik explains why learning to think ecologically will be a precious and indispensable tool for our times – and how our fight against catastrophic collapse can ultimately win a more beautiful world.
For her work to get justice for survivors of rape by security forces and the police, Soni Sori received the 2018 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk. She talks to Dilnaz Boga about why the state wants to erase Adivasi identity.