Does a trade war have any winners? Not really. There are no good examples in modern history that protectionism over time is a successful instrument. In fact we know that trade is the driver of development, the engine making our societies better.
So why do we see an emerging trade war on the horizon? Why did it start at midnight last night?
Experts are puzzled. All advisors on these matters should know better and probably does. But what happens if decision makers don’t listen to advisors? Maybe this is the answer.
So is international trade fair and balanced? No, it is not. Is there any merit to the accusations of an unbalanced trade? Yes, there is.
However, it is really not a trade balance challenge in developed countries that had been amd is the problem with international trade. We have all in the western world lived extremely well on trade for many decades. It was developing countries limited access to the global arena that was the real challenge.
Especially the emerging economies have suffered under the oresent system, not the leading western world that to dlme extent now is questioning the system.
The international trade system has a lot problems – but it is best system we have.
So let’s change what is not working instead of trying to ruin and bring chaos into the best hope we have for a safer, more equal, fair and better world. This is also what Christine Legarde Managing Director of the International Monotary Fund (IMF) has spoken about lately. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. Don’t walk away from a bridge between North and South, East and West – rich and poor. Fix what needs to be fixed instead.
The recent measures are also even worse when taking into account the historical opportunity the world had when the World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Roberto Azevedo managed to push through the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in 2015/2016. We are about to waste the biggest breakthrough for international trade ever – due to populism! This need to stop.
It is time to solve and re-solve this issue once and for all. Let us not go down in history as the generation who really had the chance to change the world – and didn’t do it.