MPs explore growing danger of all-out trade wars
The session will look at the continuing crisis in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the guardian of international trade rules; and the growing threat of all-out trade wars between the US, China and Europe.
Witnesses’ views are likely to be sought on what role the UK can play in a world where rules-based trading arrangements are in danger of coming unravelled, with the impacts of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and climate change all placing added strains on an already faltering system.
A particular focus for the session will be recent developments around the US Inflation Reduction Act (US-IRA), which will see over $360bn of subsidies for green technology products, aimed at tackling climate change and attracting investment to the US.
UK International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch has warned of the potential harm the US-IRA could do to other economies, with impacts on supply chains for batteries, electric vehicles, and the renewables sector. Experts’ insights are also likely to be sought on the countermeasures to the US-IRA being proposed by the EU.
Other likely topics of discussion include the need for reform of the WTO, the impact of China’s trade practices on the global rules-based trading system, and the implications of the UK breaking WTO rules to keep in place tariffs to protect UK steel producers.