The Future of Trade: How can Europe & the U.S. join forces to rewrite the post-COVID trade agenda

Under the Biden administration, Americans and Europeans need to rebuild as close a transatlantic relationship as possible. Transatlantic partners may have different viewpoints on specific trade issues. But both sides have much to gain by working together on trade related issues in many areas and intensifying the closest economic relationship there is between any two big markets in the world. Europeans and Americans face a number of constraints to return to a more positive trade agenda than what we have experienced during the last four years of transatlantic relations. The WTO has been weakened by various developments, not least Donald Trump’s policies and the systemic challenge China is posing to the way we view open and fair trade. With that said, there are no winners when the world economy is impaired by trade tensions and especially Europe and the U.S. have much to gain from a joint trade agenda.

This program will explore:

● What should be the cornerstones of transatlantic re-engagement on trade and what, concretely, could Europeans and Americans reach agreement on in the near-term?

● What does Europe mean by “strategic autonomy” and how will pursuing it affect the transatlantic relationship?

● Do sectoral agreements in areas like professional recognition of qualifications, freedom of Movement, and types of trade in services not covered by the WTO’s “essentially all trade” requirement promise a good way forward? How could they leverage common transatlantic standards for their advantage?

● What might be a cooperative way to approach sanctions, data regimes, and subsidies that have been a source of transatlantic tensions?

● How could they approach WTO reform and bring China into multilateral disciplines ensuring a more leveled playing field?


● Pascal Lamy, President Emeritus, JACQUES DELORS INSTITUTE, Former Director-General, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (WTO)

● William Alan Reinsch, Senior Adviser and Scholl Chair in International Business, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES (CSIS), Former President, NATIONAL FOREIGN TRADE COUNCIL

● Jonathan Hackenbroich, Policy Fellow, EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS [Moderator]