The Crisis in World Trade

A new report from the T20, the think tank arm of the G20, co-authored by AICGS Geoeconomics Program Director Peter Rashish, is newly available on the T20 website.

About the publication:

This policy brief (PB) provides decision-makers with a succinct review of the state of the trading system, to point to likely scenarios, and to serve as a background to or reference for the other six PBs prepared by the T20 Task Force on Trade, Investment and Globalization. The brief argues that the world trading system has been remarkably successful in many respects but that the present strain reflects causes which are deep-seated and require a strategic response. The future of the system depends critically on reinvigorating the WTO and policy change in the largest trading nations. Important measures are required to sustain the multilateral trading system, and urgent action is needed to avoid a scenario where the system fragments. The worst scenarios will disrupt global trade and see a world which splinters into large trading blocs (most likely centered around China, the European Union and the United States) and where trade relations are based to a large extent on relative power instead of rules. In such a world the smallest players – especially those whose trade is least covered by bilateral or regional agreements – will be at the greatest disadvantage. All countries will incur enormous costs only to try and reinvent a system that is already in place today under the WTO.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

Peter S. Rashish

Senior Fellow; Director, Geoeconomics Program

Peter S. Rashish, who counts over 25 years of experience counseling corporations, think tanks, foundations, and international organizations on transatlantic trade and economic strategy, is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Geoeconomics Program at AICGS. He also writes The Wider Atlantic blog.

Mr. Rashish has served as Vice President for Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he spearheaded the Chamber’s advocacy for an ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement between the United States and the European Union, which was officially launched as the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership,” and developed new engagements in the continent’s emerging markets.

Previously, Mr. Rashish was a Senior Advisor for Europe at McLarty Associates, and has held positions as Executive Vice President of the European Institute, on the Paris-based staff of the International Energy Agency, and as a consultant to the World Bank, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Atlantic Council, the Bertelsmann Foundation, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Mr. Rashish has testified on the euro zone and U.S.-European economic relations before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade and the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia and has advised two U.S. presidential campaigns. He has been a member of the faculty at the Salzburg Global Seminar and a speaker at the Aspen Ideas Festival. His commentaries have been published in The New York Times, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The National Interest, and Foreign Policy and he has appeared on PBS, CNBC, CNN, and NPR.

He earned his B.A. from Harvard College and an M.Phil. in international relations from Oxford University. He speaks French, German, Italian, and Spanish.