Policy Update 090

Getting America back in the Game: A Multilateral Perspective

WATANABE Tetsuya
Vice President, RIETI

Many countries are watching closely if the Biden administration will be coming back to multilateral cooperation on trade policy after the 4 years of the unilateral approach by the Trump administration. Given the priorities for the domestic agendas, we cannot expect the Biden administration to focus on negotiating new trade agreements or coming back to the CPTPP at the start of the administration. But trade policy cannot be ignored. A trade policy agenda is an integral part of rebuilding trust in American leadership on the global stage in the global setting.

The policy proposal, "Getting America back in the Game: A Multilateral Perspective" suggests ways to call the United States back to multilateral cooperation in trade policy. The key message is that a multilateral approach will reinvigorate international cooperation based on two pillars: working together among the like-minded countries, and working together with the United States and formulating initiatives as "trade tracks" within the broader foreign and climate policy agendas of the Biden administration. The proposal explores various initiatives in this regard.

The proposal is co-authored by Richard Baldwin (Professor of International Economics, Graduate Institute Geneva), Chad Bown (Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE)), Jonathan Fried (the former Ambassador of Canada to the WTO), Anabel Gonzalez (Non-Resident Fellow, PIIE), Andre Sapir (Senior Fellow, Bruegel and Professor, Université libre de Bruxelles) and Tetsuya Watanabe (Vice President, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)).

January 20, 2021

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