Dr. Alasdair Young
For the past two decades the EU has pursued a broadly consistent trade policy, which advocated trade liberalization and emphasized addressing regulatory barriers to trade. Recent internal developments have challenged that strategy. The unprecedented popular opposition to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations with the US (and by extension the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada) raised questions about the EU’s emphasis on reducing regulatory barriers. The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU weakens the internal coalition in favor of liberalization. These shocks thus have implications for the substance of EU policy.
These internal shocks also have implications for the EU’s ability to realize its policy objectives. Many contend that the popular opposition that delayed the signing of CETA has undermined the EU’s credibility as a negotiator. Brexit, by making the EU economically less valuable, has the potential to diminish the EU’s bargaining power with trade partners.
At the same time, however, the Trump Administration seems set on withdrawing the US from the liberal international trading order. If it does, the other dominant trade power would no longer be playing its traditional role. That might create an opportunity for the EU to exercise greater influence. President Tusk, for instance, has called for the EU to use the change in US trade policy to the EU’s advantage.
The purpose of this project is to provide an initial assessment and contextualization of the impact of these internal and external shocks on the EU’s trade policy. In particular, it would analyze whether the EU’s internal shocks hamper its ability to capitalize on the opportunity created by the US turning inward.
Associated activities and publications
Alasdair Young, ‘Trade Policy: Making Policy in Turbulent Times’ in H. Wallace, M. A. Pollack, C. Roeder-Rynning and A. R. Young (eds), Policy-Making in the European Union, 8th edition, Oxford University Press, 2020, 363-87.
Alasdair Young, “Two Wrongs Make a Right? The Politicization of Trade Policy and European Trade Strategy” Journal of European Public Policy, 26/12, 2019, 1883-1899.
5/20/19 Alasdair Young’s working paper “Two Wrongs Make a Right? The Politicization of Trade Policy and EU Trade Strategy” published.
3/9/18 Alasdair Young presented “Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right: Anti-Globalization Populism and European Trade Strategy,” to the European Union Trade Policy in the 21st Century International Research Conference, University of Ottawa.
Young, Alasdair R. “European Trade Policy in Interesting Times,” Journal of European Integration, 39/7, 2017, 909-23.
11/28/17 Alasdair Young discussed trade policy at the European Commission’s Biennial Jean Monnet Conference: “A Turning Point for Europe” in Brussels, Belgium.
11/3/17 Alasdair Young presented ‘Transatlantic Trade Policy in Interesting Times,’ presentation to the ‘What is the Future of International Trade?’ Workshop, University of Denver.
6/22-23/17 Alasdair Young presented a paper on ‘Trade Policy in a Changing EU and an Uncertain World,’ to the ‘Jean Monnet Fellowship Programme @ 25’ Alumni Conference, European University Institute.