The foreign trade policy challenge of the future will be to bring new and positive value-driven dynamics to the global trade regime and globalization itself. Currently, there are two opposing processes. On the one hand, there are new political decision-makers, like Donald Trump, who are pushing their countries ever further into international isolation and propagating trade protectionism. On the other hand, growing world public opinion is demanding that global trade be developed in line with other international environmental and social agreements and commitments.
Stop competition-distorting subsidies for fossil fuels
Herein lies a political opportunity for the EU to become the pioneer of a fair trade policy that smartly combines economic advantage with a global environmental and fairness agenda. It could forge new alliances that jointly lay the foundations for such an integrative trade policy. I have often described these foundations. One of the most important appears to me to be finally putting a stop to competition-distorting subsidies for fossil fuels, which are responsible for the different energy costs of the production of goods. A “fossil-fuel phase-out” could dismantle mutual trade barriers and at the same time promote the international climate regime. This is a concrete example of how I would politically shape a trading architecture in the 21st century.
Dieter Janecek, MP, is Spokesman on Economic Policy for the parliamentary group of Alliance 90/The Green Party and a member of the Parliamentary Committee for the Economy and Energy as well as of the Parliamentary Committee for the Digital Agenda.