The president of CEOE International, Marta Blanco, chaired the International Relations Commission (CEOE International), being one of the items on the agenda the international economic context and, in particular, commercial tensions. To address this issue, it was attended by the Principal Investigator of the Elcano Royal Institute, Federico Steinberg. During his speech, he analyzed the international context, trade relations, commercial tensions and the technological rivalry between the United States and China, as well as the implications that all this could have for Spanish companies.

Regarding the international context, there is a debate about the process of global economic slowdown. The reality is that new geostrategic dynamics are being generated apart from international economic relations.

International trade enters a new stage that needs to rethink a new scenario. We are faced with an increasingly complex trade (value chains, trade in services, …), with a boom in protectionism and a demand for limits to globalization in advanced countries, as well as phenomena of disintegration, which can have the effect of deceleration of international merchandise trade, at the same time as new issues are being incorporated into the business agenda, such as climate change, human rights, labor standards, etc.

In addition, we are facing a transformation of the multilateral trade order, with a crisis and the need for reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO). All this together with the creation of an ecosystem of new technologies, which are mixed with globalization.

The European Union, faced with this new scenario in which there is a crisis of the multilateral trading system, defends the need to preserve the international order. In effect, the WTO is the lowest common denominator and the EU has to make an effort to preserve this international order in its relations with the different economic blocs.

The current concerns are of such magnitude and importance that they make clear the need to agree on strategies in which the situation can be channeled, with the reform of the WTO, desired by many countries, as a priority.

In any case, trade policy can not be isolated from other policies and must be integrated with the policy of defense of competition and industry, the internationalization of the euro, the regulation of financial globalization and foreign policy in its most important sense. broad, as well as work to legitimize commercial and financial openness. And, in this context, the European Union must maintain the unity of action.

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