Kishore Jayabalan: The future of free trade in an uncertain world

Kishore Jayabalan, Director of Istituto Acton, said Pope Francis, “Is not a fan of global capitalism. He’s been criticizing it almost from the beginning.” Mr. Jayabalan gave his talk titled, “The Future of Free Trade Under Pope Francis and Donald Trump.” The talk was given at The Foolish Things Salon, a libertarian gathering organized by Ken and Li Schoolland on Oahu.

Kishore said that a backlash against the idea of global free trade has been building for a long time. Kishore said that as jobs in America have been outsourced, it’s easy for many to blame free trade, “without seeming to blame the democratic party, or the trade unions.”

Mr. Jayabalan, a native of Flint Michigan, quoted Donald Trump, saying, “It used to be we built cars in Flint, Michigan, and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. Now we build cars in Mexico, and you can’t drink the water in Flint.” For Kishore, this statement was a perfect snapshot about how working class Americans may feel as jobs have left the country.

In comparing Donald Trump and Pope Francis, Kishore said, “They have more in common than meets the eye.” Kishore pointed out that they are both leaders running against the elites, and they both seem to be generally unfriendly to global free trade.

However, Kishore pointed out that global free trade is pulling the world out of poverty, and there are so many examples of this. According to Kishore, libertarians are on the right side of the global free trade debate. Kishore suggested that since world leaders are less ideological and more open to common sense arguments, “Free traders would be better off if we had to argue much more from common sense.”

To listen to the full speech, listen below: