NATIONAL BUSINESS REVIEW: Decision from G20 leaders could prove the tipping point for free trade

09/07/2016

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September 7, 2016 | BY ALAN DEARDORFF

It’s essential that the G20 leaders push for adoption of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) at the summit meeting in Hangzhou, China, in the face of growing anti-globalization forces. This agreement could be the tipping point to highlight the importance of global free trade and prevent a revival of true protectionism in the form of increased tariffs and other barriers to trade.

A year ago it looked like the constituency in favor of globalization was continuing to dominate the policy sphere, in spite of the failure of the Doha Round of multilateral trade talks, as new and larger free trade agreements were being negotiated. These have included the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the U.S. and the EU and the 16-country Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) centered on Asia, particularly China.

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