Features Symposium: International Trade in the Trump Era

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. Since the Symposium essays are extremely timely, YJIL Online will be publishing them on a staggered schedule. We will continue to make new pieces available as they are completed in the coming weeks.

* Please note that the Symposium pieces will be consecutively paginated once all pieces are published. Official versions of each piece with the correct pagination will be posted at that time. For the time being, please cite as 44 Yale J. Int’l L. Online __ (2019).

Kathleen Claussen & David Singh Grewal

The Trump Administration and the Future of the WTO
Rachel Brewster

Trade, Redistribution, and the Imperial Presidency
Timothy Meyer

A World Trade Organization for Workers?
Joel P. Trachtman

A Tragedy in the Making? The Decline of Law and the Return of Power in International Trade Relations
Gregory Shaffer

Protectionism’s Many Faces
Andrew Lang

A Research Agenda for Trade Policy in the Trump Era (forthcoming)
David Singh Grewal

The Trump Administration vs. the WTO Appellate Body: How the Appellate Body Can Help Maintain Global Economic Relations and Peace (forthcoming)
Padideh Ala’i

Trade and Development in an Era of Multipolarity and Reterritorialization (forthcoming)
Chantal Thomas

Old Wine in New Bottles? The Trade Rule of Law (forthcoming)
Kathleen Claussen

Epilogue (forthcoming)
Harold Hongju Koh

* Cover photo by Gage Skidmore. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
















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