Published on Monday, September 21, 2020

Global | Multibilateralism

The rules-based approach to the governance of the trade of goods and services and investment flows is facing increasing challenges against the background of rivalry between the United States, China and Europe. The Asian country now being considered a strategic competitor and a systemic rival.

Key points

  • Key points:
  • Europe's position is framed by the recent but increasingly assertively defended objective of achieving 'open strategic autonomy' in its relations with the rest of the world.
  • In the United States, not even a Democratic victory in the presidential election would mean a 180º shift from the current mercantilism to multilateralism.
  • The consolidation of a 'multibilateralism' scenario among the world economy's great players may be most plausible, with dialog or trilog negotiations that establish different standards that have no global reach and only apply to the respective areas of influence.
  • The risk of this situation is, at the very least, greater friction in trade and, in the worst-case scenario, generalized trade exceptions and protectionist measures.

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