Security personnel try to stop a man as they close the West Lake before the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China September 1, 2016. REUTERS/Aly Song
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Wedged in between the Brexit vote and the U.S. presidential election, leaders of the world's major economies meet this weekend in China needing to mount a realistic defense of the free trade and globalization they have long championed.While there have been recent concessions that not everyone wins out of globalization -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew this week spoke of anxious and angry people who felt left behind -- the White House has also signaled a renewed push on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal as President Barack Obama's term winds down.The Centre for Economic Policy Research estimates that in the first eight months of 2016 alone G20 governments implemented nearly 350 measures that harmed foreign interests.When EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU Council President Donald Tusk set out their priorities for the Hangzhou meeting this week, free trade was next to last.Obama has promoted the TPP deal as an engine of job creation yet the Peterson Institute, a Washington think tank, estimates it might add all of 0.5 percent to economic growth after 15 years.
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