Brexit, Trumpism and the Structure of International Trade Regulation

  • Per CramérEmail author


This chapter seeks to identify structural changes in the regulation of international trade consequent upon Trump and Brexit. The point of departure is that both of these political changes were driven by similar populist-tinged lines of argument in which matters related to the design of foreign trade policy are central. The chapter begins with a retrospective look at the main elements of the development of international trade regulation. Cramér argues that a field of tension has arisen since 1945 between a multilateral ideal, on the one hand, and the development of regional and bilateral preferential trade agreements, on the other, in the form of free trade areas or customs unions. Against this backdrop, the chapter recounts the changes in US foreign trade policy during the current administration and the likely effects of the British withdrawal from the EU. The author describes four trends in international trade that will inevitably be strengthened by Brexit and the Trump administration’s international trade policy agenda. He underscores the importance of the EU bucking these trends and working towards modernized multilateralism that more fully responds to the challenges facing global society.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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