The international trade order is in crisis. Since the election of President Donald J. Trump, the United States has initiated—and escalated—a trade war with China, forced the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and threatened to upend the World Trade Organization (WTO) by blocking appointments (and re-appointments) to its Appellate Body. Protectionism is on the rise: reversing a longstanding political consensus, tariffs have once again emerged as a central issue in U.S. international trade policy.
What does this all mean? Where does it lead? Is the established order of international trade—underpinned by the WTO and multilateral trade agreements—on the verge of collapse? Or is it, as John Gerard Ruggie said of the “new protectionism” that arose in the 1970s, simply an indication that the existing order is adapting to new circumstances? The authors in this Features Symposium grapple with these difficult, and consequential, questions.
The Features Symposium is a new venture by YJIL Online. Its publication will be accompanied by an in-person event, to be held at Yale Law School, on February 22, 2019.
* Note: Some of these essays have been previously published on this page in unofficial, non-consecutively paginated form. Please use the official versions provided below.
Kathleen Claussen & David Singh Grewal
The Trump Administration and the Future of the WTO
Trade, Redistribution, and Imperial Presidency
A World Trade Organization for Workers?
Joel P. Trachtman
Protectionism’s Many Faces
Old Wine in New Bottles? The Trade Rule of Law
A Research Agenda for Trade Policy Under the Trump Administration
David Singh Grewal
Trump Change: Unilateralism and the “Disruption Myth” in International Trade
Harold Hongju Koh
* Cover photo by Gage Skidmore. Source: Wikimedia Commons.