World Trade Out of Order?
The Struggle of Rebalancing Trade between China, the EU and the U.S.
75 years ago, the Bretton Woods Agreement established a new international monetary system during the “golden age” of multilateralism and economic cooperation. Even though the Bretton Woods institutions have been remarkably resilient over time, multilateralism and specifically multilateral trade agreements are facing a severe crisis. Rising protectionism and bilateralism, the ongoing trade war between the world’s two largest economies, tariff disputes between the U.S. and the EU, as well as the deep crisis of the WTO’s internal courts are bringing the system that has been in place for three quarters of a century to the brink of collapse. A real threat to the multilateral order seems to be the blockage of nominating new judges to the WTO’s internal courts by the U.S. administration. New judges need to be approved by the end of the year, otherwise the court cannot hear new cases and thus ceases to function as a mediator. So, where do we go from here? Is the system in danger of imploding?
With: Andy Halus, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt, Prof. Dr. Frank Hoffmeister, Directorate-General for Trade, European Commission, Prof. Dr. Gabriele Spilker, Associate Professor of International Politics, University of Salzburg
Moderated by: Sabrina Fritz, Head of SWR’s Economics Department and Long-Time U.S. Correspondent
In cooperation with: the State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg as well as the German-American Institutes in Freiburg, Heidelberg, and Tübingen