In this seminar, we want to step behind the rhetorical fog created by anti-free trade headlines and have a general stock-take of the state of the global economic order.
Key principles of Western capitalism – commercial openness and international free trade – are under pressure. International economic governance and the process of globalisation are being demoted by both “establishment” and “anti-establishment” political movements in the EU and the US. Populist politicians are gaining support by tapping into growing doubts over the political elites’ abilities to address socio-economic problems. At the same time, the protectionist populists in the EU and the US did not need Donald Trump to make their case. The wave of increasing government interference and protectionism was already strong before Donald Trump and others ran their political campaigns, largely unchallenged and underpinned by a lot of commentary that suggests that globalisation and international free trade are the causes of growing inequality and social dislocation.
In this seminar, we want to step behind the rhetorical fog created by anti-free trade headlines and have a general stock-take of the state of the global economic order. Where is it heading? How would governments like Germany’s like to change its direction? Will they entirely be focused at defending past achievements or is there a case to be made for changing existing institutions? Do top-down structures in international economic governance such as the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO even have to play a role in the future? What about the importance of bottom-up linkages between individual economic freedoms, domestic market regulations and international free trade?
Fredrik Erixon, Director of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), Brussels.
Dr Ulrich Oberndorfer, G7/G20 Sherpa Office, German Federal Chancellery, Berlin.
Peter Rashish, Senior Fellow and Director of the Geoeconomics Program at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS), Washington D.C.
The event will be moderated by Dr Matthias Bauer, Senior Economist at ECIPE.