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The Future of International Trade and Investment (ESPAS Ideas Paper)

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This paper examines current trends, uncertainties and wild cards in relation to international trade and investment. It then considers implications for the European Union.
The European Union’s interest remains clear: a rules-based order is better than a transactional or winner-takes-all approach to international trade. But it is wise to plan for the worst, while hoping for the best.
The future of international trade and investment may lie somewhere between the extremes of the status quo and a reversion to protectionism. This would involve a thorough revision and rebalancing of multilateral norms, to take account of major global changes on many fronts. The EU has traditionally been a leading player in the creation of international institutions and norms. But the days when Europe could dictate the global agenda are over. Europe’s role will be increasingly a matter of seeking to influence events, rather than asserting dominance. In the coming decades, internal unity and a strong sense of purpose will be all the more important.
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