Preparing for a World Without the World Trade Organization

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He before signing the “phase one” trade agreement, at the White House, Washington, Jan. 15, 2020 (AP photo by Steve Helber).
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He before signing the “phase one” trade agreement, at the White House, Washington, Jan. 15, 2020 (AP photo by Steve Helber).

Editor’s Note: Guest columnist Edward Alden is filling in for Kimberly Ann Elliott. The World Trade Organization is dying. We’ll miss it when it’s gone, for many reasons. But one stands out in particular: The WTO helps keep national leaders from doing economically harmful things for domestic political reasons. Without that constraint, we can expect governments to take more and more actions that are politically popular but harmful to both their national economies and to the global economy. The decision last week by a WTO dispute settlement panel that ruled against the Trump administration’s tariffs on China is a sign […]

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