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The Slow Death of Multilateralism

Can the WTO and G20 do anything about it?

This podcast episode was recorded on 16 June 2020.


Rem Korteweg, Senior Research Fellow, Clingendael Institute


Jennifer Hillman of the Council on Foreign Relations and Georgetown Law Center
Rufus Yerxa, former Deputy U.S. Trade Representative and current President of the National Foreign Trade Council

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to place the world economy under great strain, supply chains fragility, resurgent protectionism and continued U.S.-China trade war all cast a gloomy shadow over the future of multilateral trade…and whether the World Trade Organization or the G20 can do anything about it.

In this podcast, moderator Rem Korteweg of the Clingendael Institute is joined by Professor Jennifer Hillman of the Council on Foreign Relations and Georgetown Law Center, and Ambassador Rufus Yerxa, former Deputy U.S. Trade Representative and current President of the National Foreign Trade Council. Listen as our panel discusses how the international trading system is coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, the structural problems facing institutions such as the World Trade Organization, and what role the United States might play in this going forward.

Can the multilateral trade system point to a way forward for global economic recovery once the pandemic is over? Will the stress that COVID-19 placed upon global medical supply chains spotlight the opportunity to promote world health as a factor of global commerce? And perhaps most importantly, can the U.S.-China trade war be put back into a multilateral context?

The Global Trade Series is a collaboration between AIG and the following international organizations with leading expertise on global trade: Georgetown Law, Institute of International Economic Law; Chatham House; the Clingendael Institute; the International Chamber of Commerce; the Delors Institute; the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, and the Bertelsmann Stiftung (Knowledge Partner).

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