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Economy

Protectionism, A False Promise For France's Future

In France's presidential campaign, like last year's race in the United States, protectionism is being used to woo the struggling working class. But workers would be its first victims.

Workers protest at a Whirlpool plant slated for closure in France
Workers protest at a Whirlpool plant slated for closure in France
Jean-Marc Vittori

PARIS — For Donald Trump, it's been an obsession for decades. In the Le Pen family here in France, it's a precious recipe passed down from father to daughter and daughter to niece: To save the country, for the economy to do better, to avoid factories closing down and reverse widespread unemployment, we should effectively close borders to foreign companies with higher tariffs, a depreciated currency and a national preference.

These seemingly simple, common sense measures, however, miss one tiny point. They will inevitably lead to higher prices. The "clever protectionism" that Marine Le Pen wants would be first and foremost an inflationary protectionism. In a world in which transferred revenues grow bigger and bigger, the poorest would be the ones hit hardest, if only because the population is aging. Well, is that social justice?

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The Mural ‘St. Javelina’ depicting a Madonna holding a javelin anti-tank missile that has been crucial for the Ukrainian defense, has been painted on a building of the Solomianskyi district of Kyiv.

Lila Paulou and Lisa Berdet.

👋 Hafa adai!*

Welcome to Friday, where Russia warns Ukraine about attacks inside its territory, a video of deadly Brazilian police violence sparks outrage and a grandmother in New Zealand takes on Elon Musk and Tesla. We also feature a story from Buenos Aires daily Clarin about "Agrotokens," a way that farmers in Argentina are turning surplus grain into a kind of tangible cryptocurrency.

[*Chamorro, Mariana Islands]

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