This month the European Union will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its founding treaty, the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community.
At this time last year, the International Monetary Fund reported disappointing global GDP growth of 3.1% in 2015, and promised that growth would increase in 2016 and 2017. But that expectation was unrealistic, as I explained at the time. And, sure enough, in 2016, it is estimated that global GDP again grew by only 3.1%, while world trade growth slowed substantially, from 2.7% to an anemic 1.9%. These figures describe a troubled world economy.
Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front, may be a charter member of what New America Senior Fellow Scott Malcomson calls the “Nationalist International.” But she is not the only “maverick” who is polling well in the run-up to her country’s presidential election this spring.
When it comes to bilateral trade, gains and losses are distributed asymmetrically between the larger and the smaller economy. In the best of times, that would be bad news for the United Kingdom as it seeks new trade deals with the European Union and others. And these are not the best of times.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed it. The United Kingdom will, without a doubt, leave the European Union and negotiate new trade agreements. The question is what kind of agreement the EU will accept.