The Politics of Trade

Trade & Manufacturing

Global Counsel held its second annual ‘Politics of…’ conference on 16 January 2020, focusing on trade. Panellists from across business, government and civil society debated the implications of dramatic political and technological change on trade policy. 

  • The opening plenary focused on how recently volatility in cross-border trade operations has created the need for businesses to adapt the way they trade. It considered how they are factoring political risk into their business and cross-border trade models, and how technology may shape the future of what and how they trade
  • The break-out session on international e-commerce explored the challenges raised for customs and trade policy by the expansion of the e-commerce retail model internationally
  • The break-out session on the globalisation of services drilled down into the potential for technology to facilitate cross-border trade in services and the factors that may push back against such cross-border supply
  • The break-out session on the future of the WTO considered the implications for business and trade of a WTO weakened by problems in all three of its core functions - and how it might be adapted and reformed
  • The break-out session on trade, labour and environment looked at the growing political importance of level playing field provisions in free trade agreements and how effective they have been in practice
  • The closing plenary looked how trade policy is being drawn into wider political debates about industrial policy, fairness and reciprocity and democratic oversight of regulation and domestic standards

The conference collateral can be downloaded here.
The keynote conversation between Peter Mandelson and EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan can be viewed here


The views expressed in this note can be attributed to the named author(s) only.