DP6284 EU Commercial Policy in a Multipolar Trading System

Author(s): Simon J Evenett
Publication Date: May 2007
Keyword(s): BRICs, European Union, regional trade agreements, WTO
JEL(s): F13, F15
Programme Areas: International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6284

In recent years the bipolar multilateral trading system of the post-war years has given way to a multipolar alternative. Although many specifics have yet to be determined, some contours of this new trade policy landscape are coming into focus and in this short essay I examine their implications for the European Union's external commercial policy. Particular attention is given to both the state of business-government relations and the propensity to liberalise under the auspices of reciprocal trade agreements by Brazil, India, and China; the potential new poles of the world trading system. I consider the likely consequences of these developments, plus factors internal to both the European Union and the United States, for the possible content of future multilateral trade initiatives.