Are Trade Wars Class Wars?
06 October 2020 | 11 AM US EST
This briefing will explore the relationship between class, globalization, and changes in political leadership in the United States. As the US-China trade war continues to rage, how is the American working class being affected, and what differences would a possible Biden Administration make? Join us and two experts for a discussion.
The future of globalization is on the ballot in November. But how is the US-China trade war going for the American working class – the people most affected and least able to respond to changing supply chains, technology wars, tariffs and market upheavals?
This Hinrich Foundation-sponsored National Press Foundation briefing will explore global trade through the lens of class: Who is helped and who is hurt as trade opens and then closes based on the changing political leadership? Among our guests will be:
- Matthew C. Klein, Senior Writer, Barron’s; co-author of “Trade Wars Are Class Wars: How Rising Inequality Distorts the Global Economy and Threatens International Peace.” The book shows how trade disputes are often the unexpected result of domestic political choices that serve the interests of the rich at the expense of workers and ordinary retirees.
- Cathy Feingold, Director, International Department, AFL-CIO; Deputy President, International Trade Union Confederation
This briefing is part of a series of National Press Foundation's online webinars on global trade issues in the era of the coronavirus. Check here for all upcoming and past briefings. Trainings explored:
- Data and national security
- The future of the WTO under Biden or Trump
- Managing the new US-China cold war
- Will China's dominance in raw materials imperil the US?
- What's next in the US-China trade war?
- US-China battle for technological and geopolitical dominance
- Medical trade wars
- Food security during the pandemic
Two experts will explore the impact of trade wars on the American working class.
Matthew C. Klein
Senior Writer, Barrons
Matthew C. Klein is the economics commentator at Barron's. He is author of "Trade Wars Are Class Wars: How Rising Inequality Distorts the Global Economy and Threatens International Peace", which explores how inequality distorts the global economy and threatens the survival of the open trading system. He previously wrote for the Financial Times, Bloomberg, and The Economist, and was once an investment associate at Bridgewater Associates.
Director, International Department, AFL-CIO; Deputy President, International Trade Union Confederation
Cathy Feingold is a leading advocate on global workers’ rights issues. As director of the AFL-CIO’s International Department, Feingold is a committed and passionate advocate, strategic campaigner and policy expert. In 2018, Feingold was elected Deputy President of the International Trade Union Confederation, the organization representing 200 million unionized workers worldwide. She brings more than 20 years of experience in trade and global economic policy, and worker, human and women's rights issues. In 2020, Speaker Pelosi appointed Feingold to the Independent Mexico Labor Expert Board, the body created under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to monitor and evaluate labor reforms and worker rights compliance in Mexico. Her work in both global and grassroots fora reflect her commitment to strengthening the voice of working people in global policy debates.
Feingold previously directed the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center’s work in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where she worked with local trade union partners to develop innovative campaigns to improve the working conditions of domestic, migrant and informal economy workers. The work led to a growing movement of domestic workers who affiliated to the Dominican labor movement. In Haiti, she developed labor law training programs and helped publish the first Creole language excerpt of the Haitian labor law, accessible to workers. She led the organization’s humanitarian response to the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Feingold’s professional experience includes work for the labor movement, large international organizations, small grassroots NGOs and a foundation. She leads coalition efforts to shape global labor standards, including the recently ratified International Labor Organization Convention 190 to eliminate violence and harassment at work. She has written about the impact of economic policies on market women in Nigeria and, as a Fulbright scholar in Nicaragua, she researched the impact of structural adjustment policies on women workers. She continues to be a strong advocate for gender equity and working women issues.
Feingold holds a bachelor's degree from Pitzer College and an M.P.A. from Columbia University.