Globalization and global trade are hot-button topics in the presidential election and emotional issues for many American voters. But Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris tells Fortune’s Susie Gharib that most people really don’t understand the benefits of global trade and they’re “blaming the usual suspects” for stealing their jobs.
Dow Chemical has a lot at stake if the next president adopts protectionist policies and starts putting up trade barriers. The giant chemical company has operations in more than 160 countries and exports nearly half of the products it makes in the U.S.
Liveris says the debate over trade and job losses is “actually off center.” He explains that the world is going through a new Industrial Revolution where the Internet, automation, and technology disruption are the reasons why companies are not employing as many people. “That’s what’s causing the job issues,” he says, “not the trade agendas.”
He warns that the anti-globalization backlash could result in slower growth in the U.S. economy and the loss of jobs. “Inevitably, in the first many years of this,” he says, “with all this capacity which can’t find a global market, it’ll mean less jobs. It’ll mean less growth inevitably.”