A better G-20 agenda (Part 6)
By Philip Zelikow A final, and brief, piece of advice for a better G-20 agenda: Find a concrete move that shows commitment to an open world trading system. I assume the upcoming G-20 statement will offer some lip service to this goal. The problem is that world trade is falling fast and national actions are ...
A final, and brief, piece of advice for a better G-20 agenda:
Find a concrete move that shows commitment to an open world trading system.
I assume the upcoming G-20 statement will offer some lip service to this goal. The problem is that world trade is falling fast and national actions are starting to belie the multilateral rhetoric. Right now, the United States is part of the problem, not part of the solution — as Washington set off a rapidly escalating trade dispute with Mexico, even at a time when that vital and precariously situated country is also heading into recession.
No one can expect the Doha Round problems will be solved in a few weeks, if they can be solved at all. But some concrete actions, by a few leading countries, are critical. A big reason why world trade was crippled in the 1930s was because the world’s leading advocate of free trade — Great Britain — abandoned its leadership and instead chose the path of "imperial preference" in 1932. The paragons of an open world have to be willing, at a time of crisis, to set an example.
Philip Zelikow holds professorships in history and governance at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs. He also worked on international policy as a U.S. government official in five administrations.
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