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Chatham House Global Trade Conference 2019
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Chatham House Global Trade Conference 2019

When: 14/10/2019
9:30 AM
Where: Chatham House
10 St James's Square
St James
London SW1Y 4LE
United Kingdom
Contact: Boudicca Georgii Hellberg
(0)20 7314 2785

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Trade disputes, technology and transparency

Global trade, once seen as technical and relatively uncontroversial, has moved to the centre of the global political debate. The past year has been characterized by trade conflicts and a rise in protectionist policies, escalating trade tensions between the United States and China, as well as higher US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, and the renegotiation of trade agreements including NAFTA. Moreover, whatever formula for Brexit that is eventually agreed will require a recalibration of many existing trade relations and the inevitable period of uncertainty.

At the same time, global trade is entering a new era – one in which digital trade is growing. Digital connectivity is changing how consumers, governments and business interact. International trade and the global economy have undergone significant changes in recent years from improved technology, a shift towards trade in services, and the expansion of global and regional value chains. But the question remains, can the global trade system keep up with this pace of change? Is it time for trade negotiators to shift the focus away from more traditional sectors and grapple with the rules needed to govern trade for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

With global trade dynamics undergoing a major shift, this is a critical time to take stock and assess the future of global economic connectivity. The Chatham House Global Trade conference will examine the current state of international trade, focusing on how the political landscape is reshaping global trade relations and identifying building blocks for better trade in a digital age. Discussions will explore key questions including: 

  • What are the macroeconomic implications of a trade war between the US and China?
  • Will ongoing political developments lead to a new understanding of the benefits and costs of open international trade?
  • How are innovative technologies transforming the trade landscape? Is digital trade becoming more inclusive and efficient?
  • Will increasing cross-border investment and technological change lead to a sustainable global trade landscape, or will there be a period of retrenchment? 
  • What are the implications of digital transformation for business models and global supply chains?

The Chatham House Rule 
To enable as open a debate as possible, this conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule.

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