Trade Deals Reflect Difficulty In Forging International Agreements

US-EU Trade Pact Not Embraced By All Europeans
Gregor Peter Schmitz writes in Der Speigel that while the larger economies of Germany and Britain favor moving quickly to broaden trade relations with the US, southern Europeans and France are attempting to put the brakes on a comprehensive trade deal fearing its impact on domestic industries.

“Germany is pushing for the broadest possible free-trade agreement between the European Union and the United States, against resistance from France and other Southern European nations which want to exempt issues like food regulation and gene technology from the talks in order to protect the interests of their farmers,” says Schmitz, adding that German officials worry any delay will result in the US pivoting toward Asia.

Ancillary domestic issues are one of the primary obstacles to the US-EU trade agreement and of the broader challenges facing leaders as they attempt to foster greater international cooperation.

G20 Is A Sign Of An Uncooperative World, Columnist Asserts G20 is a lack of international cooperation on a range of issues from trade to the environment, asserts Moises Naim in The Financial Times.

Lamenting the lack of firm international agreements, Naim asks (and answers his own question), “When was the last time you heard that an agreement with concrete consequences was reached by a large majority of the world’s nations? I think it was 13 years ago – the Millennium Development Goals. Since then, almost all international summits have yielded meagre results, most visibly those seeking to advance the global agendas on trade liberalisation and curbing global warming.”

Global Imbalances Must Be Addressed, Says Author
In his new book The Great Rebalancing: Trade, Conflict and the Perilous Road Ahead for the World Economy, Professor Michael Pettis asserts that imbalances in trade, capital flow and debt will become unsustainable if they are not reversed. Equally important, he contends, is how the world rebalances itself.

In a recent interview with The Diplomat, Pettis says that in the short-term international organizations may suffer, but that over time they will actually be strengthened.

“To the extent that the imbalances support the case for international cooperation, I suspect they will ultimately be strengthened, but in the short term I expect national policies will prevail. In my opinion the environment for international cooperation will probably get worse before it gets better,” Pettis argues.

 

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