The last few years have been marked by a growing geostrategic rivalry between China and the United States. At the same time, a shift from a rules-based to a more power-based international order has taken place. This becomes evident in the increasing usage of economic instruments such as trade policy or technology and industrial policy to achieve geopolitical goals. At the same time, crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic or Brexit reveal the vulnerability of the major trading blocs due to economic interdependencies, while challenges like implementing the ambitious global sustainability agenda also require global cooperation. The increased use of geoeconomic instruments by global trading partners call for a reorientation of the foreign and, in particular, foreign trade policy actions. This session will outline the challenges posed by the use of geoeconomic instruments, and discuss strategic implications for the EU, other trading blocs and the G20.
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