Stories by Wendy Cutler

Expert Voices

Pitfalls in the global trade system call for bold reforms

The World Trade Organization headquarters are seen in Geneva on April 12, 2018.
The World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The global trade system created in the aftermath of World War II has expanded economic prosperity, lifted millions out of poverty and contributed to global stability. But it hasn't kept up with the emergence of new major trading countries, advances in technology or new types of trade barriers.

The big picture: A growing number of people around the world, particularly in the U.S. and Europe, feel disenfranchised by the current order, which they hold responsible for widening income inequality and a decline in well-paying jobs. Reforms are needed if the rules-based trading system is to remain viable and relevant.

Expert Voices

TPP signed without U.S., but it’s not all bad for America

container ship in Tokyo port in front of skyscrapers
A container ship at a port in Tokyo. Photo: Alessandro Di Ciommo / NurPhoto via Getty Images

As President Trump signed proclamations for tariffs on steel and aluminum this afternoon, the 11 remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) finally closed their sweeping trade deal, just over a year after the U.S. withdrew.

Why it matters: For the U.S., the TPP deal means that manufacturing, agricultural and services exporters and their workers will be at a disadvantage in the markets of the 11 Asian-Pacific countries. Beef, pork and dairy exporters, for example, will not benefit from the tariff cuts made by Japan that competitors from Australia, New Zealand and Canada will soon enjoy.

Expert Voices

Asia has moved on after U.S. withdrawal from TPP

Asian trade delegates around a conference table
Trade ministers and delegates from the remaining members of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) attend the TPP Ministerial Meeting in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 9, 2017. Photo: NA SON NGUYEN / AFP / Getty Images

One year after the United States pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it’s clear Asia-Pacific nations have not been waiting around for the Trump administration to change its mind.

Just today, the 11 remaining TPP countries announced that they have reached a deal, which could be signed as early as March, without the U.S. A number of other regional and bilateral trade negotiations were concluded in 2017, including a landmark agreement between Japan and the EU. Several others were launched, with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore each starting talks with the four Latin American countries of the Pacific Alliance.