A Turning Point for Global Trade

International trade has shaped the world for much of the past century. Countries benefited from the global flow of goods, and the world became richer and safer. At the same time, many Americans lost their jobs to cheaper overseas competitors. Now, a series of compounding challenges, including great power competition and climate change, have led U.S. officials to rethink trade policy. What's next for international trade? And can the United States retain the benefits of trade while protecting critical supply chains and fighting climate change?

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  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting

Asher Ross - Supervising Producer

Markus Zakaria - Audio Producer and Sound Designer

Molly McAnany - Associate Podcast Producer

Episode Guests
  • Jennifer Hillman
    Senior Fellow for Trade and International Political Economy
  • Inu Manak
    Fellow for Trade Policy
  • Edward Alden
    Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow

Show Notes

Global trade has reached an inflection point. At the center of the debate is industrial policy, or the promotion of certain domestic industries that a government deems critical to national security or economic competitiveness. In the United States, President Joe Biden has made historic investments in U.S. industries such as semiconductors and electric vehicles, seeking to bolster supply chains, add more manufacturing jobs, incentivize the private sector to invest in renewable energy, and maintain its standing as a global economic powerhouse. Those strategies have drawn criticism from U.S. allies, who worry that such policies could undermine their own economies. 


In this episode, experts argue that U.S. industrial policy serves a valuable purpose, but warn of the costs if it becomes the norm. 



From CFR


Noah Berman and Anshu Siripurapu,  “The Contentious U.S.-China Trade Relationship”


Noah Berman and Anshu Siripurapu, “Is Industrial Policy Making a Comeback?”


James McBride and Anshu Siripurapu,  “What’s Next for the WTO?”


Shannon K. O’Neill, “U.S. Should Look South, Not Far East, on Trade Pacts” 



From Our Guests


Edward Alden, “Biden’s Turn Against Trade Makes It Hard to Win Friends”


Jennifer Hillman and Inu Manak, “Rethinking International Rules on Subsidies”



Read More


Mark Muro, “Biden’s Big Bet on Place-Based Industrial Policy,” Brookings Institution


“What Is Friendshoring?” Economist



Watch and Listen


“Let’s Talk Future of Trade,” World Trade Organization


“One Year Later: The Inflation Reduction Act and Climate Progress,” Brookings Institution


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