BLOG SURF: Trade threats

It has yet to be probed whether the global economic slowdown has led to the rise of protectionist trade policies, or it’s the other way around.

Either way, the fact that protectionism is growing around the world should concern economists and practitioners alike.

International trade, which has invigorated global economic growth in past decades, is losing steam, and trade growth is forecast to remain sluggish in 2016.

There is a shared perception among experts that changing this course requires going back to the basics to benefit more from trade.

But on the contrary, what we are observing now are rising tides of trade protectionism, reminiscent of the typical common goods problem in the absence of well-functioning international coordination mechanisms.

While sizable progress has been made on trade liberalization through bilateral and multilateral level efforts, we are also seeing much bashing of major trading partners.