International trade - Rekindling interest in a multilateral rules-based approach A Think Tank 7 Contribution
International trade is one of the themes that used to constitute the very raison d’être of the G7, alongside international security and energy policy.
The G7 approach to trade has been traditionally based on a set of key principles on which all member countries could agree, namely the commitment to fight protectionism and the prominence of the rules-based multilateral trading system, anchored in the WTO. But today these principles are increasingly under attack. Not only is protectionism on the rise, but there is also disagreement as to where the system should be headed, and discontent about its effectiveness, with substantial risks for the world economy. In particular, if the trade sanctions imposed by the US administration were to escalate further, this would affect global trade negatively and could even lead to a trade war in which all parties would lose. Moreover, global trade might also suffer if the current regionalization of trade flows were to further deepen as a result of the partial disintegration of global value chains.