A Brief Summary
Trade war has become a reality. The threat of Brexit is having a chilling effect in Europe. The RCEP negotiations are unlikely to be concluded this year. And the WTO system moves closer to paralysis with the looming collapse of its appeals function and the continuing inability of its members to make progress in multilateral negotiations.
There is little to offset this gloomy panorama. The EU-Mercosur FTA is significant, but its implementation is threatened by political strife over the Amazon. The US-Japan deal is less substantial than the TPP. Other initiatives in Asia and Africa are a long way from fruition.
This is why the second Singapore Trade Policy Forum comes at a crucial moment. Convened by the Centre for Multilateralism Studies (CMS) at RSIS, with the support of the governments of Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, the by-invitation forum will be held on 21 and 22 October.
Around 30 senior trade experts from governments, business and academia, local and international, will take part in an intensive informal debate on key facets of the emerging crisis. These include the cost of economic nationalism; the adequacy of international structures; the reality of WTO reform; rules for the digital economy; trade and climate change; and the future of globalisation.