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.

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
Rachel Brewster

Trade, Redistribution, and 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

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

A Research Agenda for Trade Policy Under the Trump Administration
David Singh Grewal

Trade and Development in an Era of Multipolarity and Reterritorialization
Chantal Thomas

The Vital Role of the WTO Appellate Body in Promoting the Rule of Law and International Cooperation: A Case Study
Padideh Ala’i

Trump Change: Unilateralism and the “Disruption Myth” in International Trade
Harold Hongju Koh

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
















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