Commentary Type

Discarding a Utopian Vision for a World Divided: The Effect of Geopolitical Rivalry on the World Trading System

Paper delivered at the symposium "The Demise of the Global Market Economy and the Rise of a Two-sphere World" cohosted by King's College, London, and the London School of Economics


Executive Summary

The greater danger for the world trading system is not that it is at present being divided into two camps, one led by the United States and the other by China, but that the two largest trading countries, by their lack of adherence to and support for the multilateral trading system, may seriously damage it. Both rivals act outside the existing trade rules, creating negative examples that are not lost on other WTO members who may also choose to act outside of the system’s rules.


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