As the economic crisis maintains its momentum despite the stock exchange displaying its usual bi-polar elements, there are worried glances by the neo-liberals as regards the p-word: Protectionism. This is anathema to the globalisation disciples like Brown, Blair etc yet although all the leaders are protesting against the possibility of bringing back national barriers there are several straws in the wind that shows the big capitalist powers are drawing up their drawbridges.
Sakorzy in France is trying to woo car business back from Slovenia - fellow EU member. As discussed below China have killed off the Coke deal: dead in the sugary water. American Congress puts Buy American steel clause in new public building projects. Oz politicians campaigning against the Chinese state owned metal company buying a huge stake of Rio Tinto mines. Even Britain which under Nulabour was arguably the most globalised part of the global economy - literally everything was for sale- hence why belief that Britain will suffer more than most other countries in recession is urging Banks to lend to domestic customers hence negating foreign investment.
Its all little bits and bobs just now but could mount up particuarly if populist politicians take up the mantle - sadly more likely than the left at the moment given the general weakness of socialism internationally.
In truth free trade was always a bit of a myth - witness the continual failure of the WTO talks but the shift is still significant, particularly ideologically.