Daniel W. Drezner

How could trade be restricted? Let me count the ways….

The final G-20 communique — get it while it’s hot! — contains the following strong statement:  "We will not repeat the historic mistakes of protectionism of previous eras."  This is likely true, though one should never underestimate the ability of governments to devise new and unforseen ways to commit new mistakes about protectionism in the current ...

The final G-20 communique — get it while it’s hot! — contains the following strong statement:  "We will not repeat the historic mistakes of protectionism of previous eras." 

This is likely true, though one should never underestimate the ability of governments to devise new and unforseen ways to commit new mistakes about protectionism in the current era.* 

How could that happen?  Check out my latest column in The National Interest online to see how a world of considerably less trade is possible, even within the confines of the World Trade Organization. 

The essay is a thought experiment — I’d put my money on it not happening.  But I can’t completely dismiss this scenario out of hand. 

 

* Indeed, The FT’s Alan Beattie and Jean Eaglesham have the best single sentence on this point of the G-20 statement:  "The commitments on protectionism in the G20 communiqué, although longer than their equivalents after November’s Group of 20 meeting, are, if anything, shorter on concrete promises."

 Twitter: @dandrezner

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