Open Discussion Forums
TRADE WARS AFTER CORONAVIRUS: economic, political and theoretical implications
19th October – 5th December 2020
The United States declared an economic war on China in early 2018. Economic warfare is a unilateral action that questions the existence of multilateralism and places the question of what regime we are about to enter after the weakening of the existing multilateral trade agencies. US trade policy opens the door for new relationships between emerging market economies and international financial institutions on issues of liberalisation but mostly it ends a period started in the 1980’s of unregulated international trade and opens a new one. The solution to the structural economic problems of the US, similar to those of Britain in the 1960’s is not tariffs and trade restrictions. The trade war is above all a war that will be won by one side at some point. This conference calls for a deep reflection to matters related that includes, among other questions:
- Will free trade be still strongly promoted through international financial institutions (IFI) policies?
- Can any multilateral agency now take retaliation against any country that goes against the spirit of existing free trade agreements?
- If the profit squeeze in the US comes at the same time as US technological leadership is at stake, how much at stake is it?
- Can China actually replace the US as the economic leader in the world? If not, what does prevent it? If so, what is required? How can the US prevent this from happening?
- Does the winner of the trade war keep the hegemony as its prize? Or, are we in a new situation of shared/partial hegemonies?
- What are the lessons learnt from the US trade war against Japan?
- What is the difference between this trade war and the Japanese one of the 1980’s?