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GEAB 123

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 15 Mar 2018

2018 Multipolar globalisation: EU adopts the pro-trade protectionist model

As we all know, Donald Trump kicked off the reinvention of trade relationships by imposing customs barriers on steel and aluminium.  In addition to the duty of protecting this industry and the jobs connected with it, he was motivated by the strategic nature of this sector which is intrinsically linked to the army. Economy, employment, National Security. This is clearly about national sovereignty. Hence, logic and supranational bodies are again undermined (particularly the WTO and the EU).

 Customs barriers: the EU on Trump’s radar

The Chinese competition is brandished as a red flag in order to sweeten the pill. As it happens, it is not China that is most worried. Although China produces about half of the world’s steel, it only ranks 11th among the countries most affected by the tariff measure. Surprisingly enough, the most affected countries belong rather to the allied camp: Canada represents 16% of US steel imports, followed by Brazil at 13%, then South Korea (10%), Mexico (9%) …

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