Trade shifts

Trade shifts
In the second half of the 20th century, globalization brought a boom in international trade. The rapid change that came with it has led to a backlash, with most countries erecting protectionist barriers. Governments are increasingly using regulations, red tape and tariffs to achieve domestic and foreign policy goals. Highly intense trade disputes, however, can break the ice and lead to results and unexpected benefits.

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Cartoon by GIS

Opinion: The WTO drifts toward irrelevance

The WTO is a relatively cheap international organization, but it has achieved very little since it was created in 1995. It will not likely disappear, especially if it keeps a low profile and transforms bilateral deals driven by politics into multilateral deals. That would be less useful than if it could become a body that calculates and collects fines from those who violate simple rules – with no exceptions.

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