Commentary Type

Trade for peace: Can trade be an effective tool to support peace? Lessons from history

Lecture at the Graduate Institute and the University of St. Gallen, Geneva, Switzerland


Popular support for the theory that trade supports peace, which has a long pedigree in Western philosophical thought and in the practice of diplomatic relations by the United States and the European Union, suffered a major setback when one WTO member, Russia, invaded another, Ukraine, in February 2022. My assignment in these remarks is to recall for you the history of this idea and policy of trade for peace (T4P), and to set out some of the arguments that are made for and against the validity of seeking to deploy commerce in the cause of promoting peace.

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