The deceptive promise of free trade The History of Earth - Full Documentary 3 months ago   42:26

DW Documentary
Global trade is a hot topic of the G7 summit in Canada. Is free trade truly free - and fair? What roles do US President Trump, economic powerhouse China, and the EU play in global trade?

When it comes to global trade, it would seem that trickery, threats and deception are the order of the day - yet all this takes place largely beyond the reach of the public eye. Donald Trump has made "America First” his agenda and rallying cry. Along with aiming sharp criticism at global export champion Germany, Trump has also introduced punitive tariffs and warned of further measures. Will this fresh wave of protectionism lead to economic isolationism and threaten global free trade? And what about those for whom free trade’s promise of prosperity increasingly rings hollow? Around the world, many people have come to regard themselves as the losers of globalization. If the true winners of free trade and globalization are not ordinary citizens, has the time come to revise the liberal orthodoxy of free trade? This documentary visits Germany, Switzerland, the United States and Cameroon to explore these issues by way of some everyday examples, including the trade in onions, floor tiles, and bicycles.

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Comments 1324 Comments

DW Documentary
This documentary is also available to watch in Spanish:
This is such an informative program! I summarize my take away and some thoughts:
1. Benefit of trade is specialization thus higher production efficiency
2. Problems of free trade are mainly two: A) trade imbalance between countries B) Within every country, some industries gain while some lose.
3. Therefore, the key to free trade issue is also two principles. Countries should work toward trade balance, meaning we don't take money from each other. China would not like that, but that's only fair. Then, each country government should implement domestic policies that take from those benefiting from free trade and help those impacted by free trade transition to other industries.
Rajul Saxena
Free trade happened , but the free movement of people for jobs never happened .
Christian Jensen
The answer is simple: quit having children and stop buying manufactured goods. The more you know, the less you need.
Jo Howard
20:25 Oh DW your Neo Liberal is showing again, I just love that logic ( Protectionism lead to the horrors of WW2 ) never mind all those industrial billionaires like Henry Ford who help fund Hilter, Hess and Rosenberg. Also helping to fund the distribution of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Just forget that right Francis Fukuyama..... oops I mean DW 😘
Jo Howard
12:38 😂🤣🎉"One country's loss is another country's gain" well those Milton Friedman worshippers 🤣 must hate you guys, with your "Red Marxist Propaganda" 🙊🙉🙈🤣
If we buy cheap, we exploit their workers, if we sell cheap, we destroy their markets. We can't do anything right, can we?

They might as well show us 45 minutes of the text "White people are bad!".
And we already knew that, cause everybody has been telling us... So this docu is pointless.
Next docu! --->
Sokami Mashibe
I Know that this is a lengthy post, but for anyone who is concerned, I wanted to be as thorough as possible to inform about how these issues, such as trade policies that negatively affect poor countries around the world, are not nearly as straight-forward as they appear. I want to present to the fullest extent possible that there are very sinister Political and Economic reasons behind why poor countries around the world are abused to such a degree by Western Policy, and that it's not just any isolated trade policy, political party or political leader pushing for it. Instead it is the natural result of a system that has evolved only the most desperate means systemically to sustain itself.

The short version is this: That Western powers (specifically the EU and USA) exploit countries around the world to sustain the Capitalist system, that the System itself is unsustainable and maintained only through constant Financial and Political manipulation, that these issues are inherent to the system and cannot be fixed simply through reform or regulations, that if not abolished in due time it will ultimately lead to fascist dystopia's during the next major financial collapse, and that the only way to 'fix' it is to abolish it entirely through revolutionary action. Such revolutionary action can eventually transform global society to one based on Mutual Aid between countries, and a Political system which puts political and economic power into the hands of the people through various participatory democracies, not a relatively small elite of major power players.

The only viable way to solve these issues in the long term, is to revolt against the predatory system that is Global Capitalism and to abolish it. Only through struggle can the people of the third world obtain their political and economic independence from the Imperialistic, Hegemonic trade policies that are designed to exploit poorer countries of the world for western benefit. Capitalism is not a sustainable nor an ethical system for global human civilization. Even right now the Banking and Financial system which fuels Capitalism is only operating on an unaccountable run-away debt and private corporations creating money out of thin air to "fuel" themselves and to keep investors happy. The main thing that has been upholding Capitalism for the past ten years alone has unironically been massive loans in the form of US treasury bonds being sold to China which in turn were used to bail out major banks in the USA in the trillions. These issues are not an accident nor an aberration of the Capitalist system, but a natural end result of its evolution in the west and around the world as a globalized system. If these more recent issues Aren't enough, An in depth examination of Global Capitalism only leads to the conclusion that ever since the end of World War 2, Capitalism has only sustained itself through the extreme exploitation of other countries labor, natural resources, industry and farmland.

The truth behind so many wars and so much instability around the world can be found through a lengthy history of Western Intervention. The fabrication of wars against sovereign countries (through the media and in-bedded journalist), CIA Interventions (such as School of the Americas) around the world, and extensive western corporate take-overs in other countries, has been purposed for the ultimate aim to expand the Western control of economic resources, in the aim to compensate for a system that is highly unsustainable, a system which requires constantly tapping into new sources of cheap labor and cheap natural resources to combat the declining rate of profit of corporations.

The Capitalist system, which has long been based on globalized exploitation, financial and political manipulation and run-away debt is deeply unsustainable. Eventually, this will lead Global Capitalist System into a Financial Collapse which it simply cannot recover from by using the same manipulative schemes that it relied upon before - all of the known Financial and Political work-arounds will have been exhausted. When Capitalism is on the verge of Collapse, The major capitalist within society will do exactly what they did the last time Capitalism was about to collapse in on itself, such as during the great depression: They will fund major fascist as a means to 'save' the system - by creating a slave economy (look up the documentary: Hitlers American Business Partners). If one wants to lay back and think the system will somehow solve itself or fix these issues that are inherent to itself or that these severe issues can be 'regulated away', then they will be in for a massive surprise when a major and irreversible financial collapse happens and Fascist are put in power all around the western world to save the system.

The point is that we must organize very strong revolutionary movements against such a system that relies on perpetual war and exploitation of other countries to sustain itself. This does not mean that innocent people should be targeted or that people should go around doing pointless riots that would only be used as fuel to demonize the movement. On the contrary, Such a movement would focus on getting as many people as possible very conscious about how the system works. As Well, such a movement must focus on helping the most down-trodden people in society anywhere in the world. Imagine training farmers threatened with corporate or government take-over all around the world on how to defend their land, and what little they resources they have available to them. Imagine training people from the most down-trodden countries to take back the land, industry and factories that their own people have lost as a result of corporate take-over and wars of imperialism. The best revolutionary movements are always rooted among the down-trodden of society, help the down-trodden to the best of their ability, and have a general appeal to organize against the deep injustices of the system.

The mid-term aim of Revolutionary Movements would be to transform Societies around the world to ones Where the people of those societies hold Political and Economic control over their own Society through Participatory Democracy, and that as successful revolutions develop, revolutionary nations can be aligned with each other in solidarity. It is important that successful revolutionary movements have reasonable Working Class State Apparatus' overlaid as an extension of Participatory Democracy, such that it is not its own entity separate from the people, but one with direct proportional representation and recall by the people of every community. This allows the people of revolutionary nations to make decisions concerning the security and development of the whole nation by drawing all political will from communities of people rather than a relatively small and powerful economic and political elite. This form of State Apparatus controlled so closely by communities, can protect the newly found transitional revolutionary society from Imperialist invasions, trade manipulations, and other forms of aggression. Further, a Revolutionary State Apparatus that is effectively controlled proportionally by communities and held accountable through Constitutional participatory democracy, can provide a framework which allows for national scale projects and equalized development within a nation as determined by regular people, rather than a political elite. Ultimately, it is an extremely useful tool for Revolutionary Peoples to better secure the independence and dignity of their respective Revolutionary Nations.

With a world of nations built on this form of Political System, Political nor Economic Power would be concentrated to a few people who can pull strings to fuel their own wealth and position in society. Such a world would be built on Mutual Aid between countries - where the most developed countries would provide the poorest countries all the technical and material aid they need to be developed without being exploited, and as a result a lengthy period of peaceful and mutual development can finally ensue. This is in stark contrast to the world of the present that is driven by run-away debt, loans from China, Corporate conglomerates fueling themselves by creating their own money with the federal reserve, Economic Imperialism and finally Imperialist Wars around the world.

Conclusion: If we are to develop a sustainable and peaceful future for humanity, then we must organize Revolutionary and Constructive action which can eventually result in the total transformation of Global Society. This would occur over a substantial period of time as various revolutionary movements would lead their country to Independence and liberty for their own people and as revolutionary nations align in solidarity to the broader revolutionary movement. If humanity does not organize powerful and successful revolutionary movements in a reasonable time frame, we will only witness the World degrade into various forms of fascist dystopia's. Yet still, even as the world Degrades, many people will still continue to be so short-sighted in their analysis, that they will still only blame one particular elected official or one particular policy or one particular political party for the deep-crisis that inevitably emerges from the machinations of capitalist society. As a result of a complete lack of Political Self-Awareness and Stubbornness, so much of humanity - especially in the west - will still fail to recognize that it is the entire system itself that is causing these issues and crisis, that this is a natural result of the evolution of Capitalism as a system, that these issues cannot simply be reformed or regulated away, and ultimately - that the only way to be rid of such overwhelmingly severe issues is by Societal Transformation, a Transformation which can only be achieved through large-scale revolutionary action emerging from the masses
Akin Khoo
this video made a critical mistake. it implies Germany is taking advantage of a weak euro, but the weak euro is not the result of Germany, or more precisely, the USD is unnatually strong because of the unfair dominance of USD in world trade, especially in oil trade hence the term petrodollar. it is US policy that cause it currency to be in high demand that made the rest of the economy suffer. if the US doesn't like this, the US can approve of policy in the IMF to moderate and increase the weight and trade in euro and RMB, and give them more voting power in IMF, but US has so far refuse and are even dragging out the return of gold to foreign countries that would help increase those country's currency value. so in reality, it is US that is trying to dominate the financial system that cause it pain this pain. and the reason why US does this is to allow itself to commit to unsustainable is because US is addicted to debt. if US really want to end trade deficit, all they have to do is to end their budget deficit and discourage spending.
Andrew Durot
Another great documentary with balanced views. Dang this is refreshing
Fantastic DW. I'm an economist student at university, so I greatly enjoyed watching this program.
john bob
free trade, will kill all riches country ( job ) and manufacturing. just make riches of trader/business out of riches country
Simple. Buy used not new. Then your American dollars goes into American hands.
I ordered Spanish garlic from Amazon, for they were being touted as very tasty, the type only used by the finest restaurants. When I bought them, I actually forgot I did, for they took 3 weeks to arrive and only a few days prior did I think about the purchase. When they arrived, they arrived from China! So, Spanish garlic grown and shipped from China. It cost me $3.95 for the stupid garlic, but then I noticed when I looked for a product in Amazon, the prices for the items were astronomically blown out of proportion in comparison to other sites. I looked for a crimping tool and normally the tool would cost $18 or so. Amazon listed the tool for $725 and other ridiculous pricing! So, if you are stupid enough to buy Spanish garlic from are great candidate for buying ancient Chinese secrets.
steve levario
Fair trade>free trade
Joe Wood
Every think in the world today is wrong, for the simple reason the human race has based its policies on endless growth the problem with that, is you do not have endless space to operate a system of endless growth in. that's why you're coming unstuck because you are refusing to recognise where you live, which is a limited space you're not intelligent enough to grasp that reality, you have only got to listen to yourselves speak, you've only got to listen to your politicians speak, to prove what I have just written is true. what you are trying to do is to break the laws of physics, you will fail , you are failing, the evidence is all around you to show you are failing to see or understand, the trouble is the human race is so greedy and selfish and stupid, it point-blank's refuses to recognise this.

I will prove it to you all by asking you one simple question, let's see if you have the intelligence to answer it then have the intelligence to then understand why you have all these problems and they are growing. for answering the question should be simple what is not simple is acting upon the answer to this question.

Do you believe you can endlessly put something into something that is not endless YES or NO.
If you are as intelligent as me, then your answer will be NO you cannot endlessly put something into something that is not endless, it's not possible.

But if you agree with me, then explain to me why then do you all embrace a system that answer is YES to that question. Why do you vote people in to govern you who also believe the answer is YES to that question.

so you are all lying, otherwise the world would not be overpopulated with people and we would not be in this situation if you all understood that where you live is not endless therefore logically you cannot operate a system of endless growth in it.

The reason the world you know is dying is because the human population is not intelligent enough to understand where it lives, it is also not intelligent enough to work out how it should be living there.

So I hope you will remember this every time a disaster happens in your world, where there is food and water shortage, unnatural weather when there is mass starvation, when society starts to break down when your environment starts to disintegrate. it's all because you have no ability to act upon the answer to this question.

the In the 70s as a young man I used to say that when I die there will be no intelligent life on this planet, back then I said it as a joke and I meant it as a joke for I was not taking myself seriously. I am 63 years old now and looking at you lot and the way you are behaving. I cannot say that as a joke any longer.
Estevan Valladares
What people fail to mention about free trade is the macro cost of opportunity in free trade. Everyone is so focused on how it affects the individual as such, but not on how it affects the whole country and therefore the individual. If something is expensive and harder to make in the US, that is for a reason, and that usually has to do with the very people complaining about it. The net benefits of free trade are not a matter of having or not free trade, but how free trade actually works. The problem is mistaking the free trade concept in the sense of having the Freedom of trade, and the concept of trading for free. Free trade means the former, not the latter.
Merritt Olsen
Everyone has tariffs except the US. Now when we add them everyone has a hissy fit.
Hummm If the US has a tariff on steel of say 25%, the US Treasury gets that 25%, the domestic steel maker hires more and probaly raises prices a bit- that's good but the consumer ends up paying the 25%-- that's bad and is like an extra tax. Without the tariff the consumer pays less but the US loses jobs and the government does not get the 25%. Solution: Worldwide wage and price controls are impractical SO the practical solution is free and EQUAL trade. They sell us a limited amount and we sell them a equal value amount. Things don't get lopsided or too unfair. Who wants free and unfair trade? Not perfect but a solution.
Saptarshi Chatterjee
My dad acts the same as that lady at 17:30 . He refuses to buy anything that's made in China.
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The History of Earth - Full Documentary The deceptive promise of free trade 3 months ago   1:31:52

n the very beginning of earth's history, this planet was a giant, red hot, roiling, boiling sea of molten rock - a magma ocean. The heat had been generated by the repeated high speed collisions of much smaller bodies of space rocks that continually clumped together as they collided to form this planet. As the collisions tapered off the earth began to cool, forming a thin crust on its surface. As the cooling continued, water vapor began to escape and condense in the earth's early atmosphere. Clouds formed and storms raged, raining more and more water down on the primitive earth, cooling the surface further until it was flooded with water, forming the seas.

It is theorized that the true age of the earth is about 4.6 billion years old, formed at about the same time as the rest of our solar system. The oldest rocks geologists have been able to find are 3.9 billion years old. Using radiometric dating methods to determine the age of rocks means scientists have to rely on when the rock was initially formed (as in - when its internal minerals first cooled). In the infancy of our home planet the entire earth was molten rock - a magma ocean.

Since we can only measure as far back in time as we had solid rock on this planet, we are limited in how we can measure the real age of the earth. Due to the forces of plate tectonics, our planet is also a very dynamic one; new mountains forming, old ones wearing down, volcanoes melting and reshaping new crust. The continual changing and reshaping of the earth's surface that involves the melting down and reconstructing of old rock has pretty much eliminated most of the original rocks that came with earth when it was newly formed. So the age is a theoretical age.

When Did Life on Earth Begin?

Scientists are still trying to unravel one of the greatest mysteries of earth: When did "life" first appear and how did it happen? It is estimated that the first life forms on earth were primitive, one-celled creatures that appeared about 3 billion years ago. That's pretty much all there was for about the next two billion years. Then suddenly those single celled organisms began to evolve into multicellular organisms. Then an unprecedented profusion of life in incredibly complex forms began to fill the oceans. Some crawled from the seas and took residence on land, perhaps to escape predators in the ocean. A cascading chain of new and increasingly differentiated forms of life appeared all over the planet, only to be virtually annihilated by an unexplained mass extinction. It would be the first of several mass extinctions in Earth's history.

Scientists have been looking increasingly to space to explain these mass extinctions that have been happening almost like clockwork since the beginning of "living" time. Perhaps we've been getting periodically belted by more space rocks (ie. asteroids), or the collision of neutron stars happening too close for comfort? Each time a mass extinction occurred, life found a way to come back from the brink. Life has tenaciously clung to this small blue planet for the last three billion years. Scientists are finding new cues as to how life first began on earth in some really interesting places - the deep ocean.