Summary of Reinvigorating Trade to Support Growth

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The result of the Brexit vote and the ire in some circles over the Trans-Pacific Partnership raise questions about long-held beliefs in the broad-based benefits of trade. This pushback is of particular concern because global growth remains weak. Trade expansion since 2001 has slowed considerably from the boom years of the 1990s. This article from the International Monetary Fund argues that a future trade policy architecture must be multilateral and comprehensive to bolster growth. getAbstract recommends this compelling commentary to policy makers and business executives interested in what the next level of international trade might bring.

About the Author

The International Monetary Fund advises member nations on policy issues and works to promote economic stability and well-being.



Throughout the 1990s, as both the World Trade Organization and the European Union expanded, growth in world trade ran at twice that of global gross domestic product (GDP). Then trade growth turned downward, to 1.5 times that of global GDP over the period from 2001 through 2007. Trade restrictions instituted after the 2008 financial crisis brought trade growth to parity with world GDP growth, where it remains. This disappointing, stagnant growth scenario has stalled advances in the “multilateral trading system” (MTS) designed to coordinate trade practices among...

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