Anabel Gonzalez on “Bringing positive energy to the trading system”

In her new post on the Future of Globalisation Blog Anabel Gonzalez, former Costa Rican trade minister and former World Bank senior director on trade & competitiveness, writes about recent trade initiatives in Africa, Asia and Europe that provide positive energy for the global trading system.

While trade headlines are dominated by an increasingly inward-looking US trade policy, Anabel Gonzalez draws attention to three important trade initiatives: the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), and the upcoming signature of the European Union-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EU-Japan EPA). By eliminating barriers to trade and establishing new rules these agreements bring more certainty to international trade and investment flows.

While these initiatives are welcome, Anabel Gonzalez writes that they can only complement, and not replace, the multilateral trading system. Furthermore, there are issues such as agricultural trade and subsidy reform that can only be dealt with at the multilateral level. She, therefore, calls upon the T20, multilateral development institutions and academic institutes to support structured discussions on how to better align regional initiatives with the multilateral trading system.

Please access the blog post of Anabel Gonzalez at