Constance is taking a stand against free trade. The German town on the lake that bears its name – which also runs through Austria and Switzerland in the foothills of the northern Alps – is up in arms over globalization. Specifically, they oppose the planned Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States.
An overwhelming majority of the Constance town council recently proclaimed opposition to “further liberalization of international trade,” citing fears that local businesses would be hurt.
The protectionists in Constance are not an isolated case in Germany, according to a recent survey. A poll conducted by the research institute, TNS Emnid, found that less than half of Germans support the proposed transatlantic free trade treaty.
Their defiance is due to more than just fears of chlorinated chickens from America. Ever since the financial crisis of 2008, the global exchange of goods, services, capital and ideas has faltered.
World trade is growing only half as much as before the financial crash. The international flow of capital is almost 70 percent below its peak in 2007. Throughout the world, direct foreign investments have decreased by a third.