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The Embattled Future of Global Trade Policy

(Martin Wolf – Financial Times)

Should proposed US plurilateral trade agreements be welcomed?

This is a big question, not least for those who consider the liberalisation of world trade to be a signal achievement. It is also highly controversial.

Since the failure of the “Doha round” of multilateral negotiations — launched shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001 — the focus of global trade policy has shifted towards plurilateral agreements restricted to a limited subgroup of partners. The most significant are US-led: the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. As a study by the US Council of Economic Advisers puts it, the Obama administration’s trade agenda aims to put America “at the center of an integrated trade zone covering nearly two-thirds of the global economy and almost 65 per cent of US goods trade.” Click here to read more.