Essay: The Other Trade War

 

By Kathleen Claussen.

Available here.

Excerpt: “The trade war is on: beginning in the first half of 2018, the United States has employed half-century-old domestic law to impose tariffs on select products affecting U.S. industries, and other countries have struck back with tariffs of their own on U.S. products coming from battleground U.S. states. It is an atypical war: in this war, the United States has implemented tariff rate increases also on its allies. Some say these reciprocal moves suggest a turn away from the international trade law regime. For international trade policymakers and lawyers, however, the tariff war is only part of the story. Meanwhile, another trade war has been playing out in Geneva on the floor of the Dispute Settlement Body (“DSB”) at the World Trade Organization (“WTO”). This other trade war holds great consequence both for the global economy and for the development of international trade law.”