Will the trade slowdown really ‘shipwreck’ the global economy?

Globalisation Aug 19 image

International trade as a percentage of GDP soared in the post-war years. In this issue of our Globalization Outlook we ask:

  • was it ever viable that levels of international trade would continue to soar on the previous trajectory or was there always going to be a natural limit?
  • will trade slowdown really ‘shipwreck’ the global economy?


  • The German economy is stalling and starting to reap the consequences of an economy addicted to exports and the long-standing refusal to stimulate domestic demand
  • Yet, Germany has more fiscal space than most to soften the impact of a downturn


  • The US domestic political climate increasingly seems to mitigate against resolution of the US-China trade dispute
  • The only question is whether this will be a slow war of attrition or whether there will be significant escalation
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren’s new trade plan should put paid to anyone’s delusion that, following a Trump presidency, the trade landscape will revert to what it used to be


  • An EU-MERCOSUR trade deal has been signed – having been 20 years in the making
  • EU farmers have raised objections
  • Will the deal easily be ratified by the EU 27

A UK-US Trade Deal?

  • US National Security Adviser, John Bolton, has put forward the same approach to a potential UK-US trade deal as we have recommended in our book – Backlash: Saving globalisation from itself
  • A sector-by-sector approach starting with those sectors where quick deals may be relatively easy and then building on those over time towards a comprehensive agreement

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