Having played a crucial role in shaping the global trade system since the end of the Second World War, the US under the presidency of Donald Trump no longer wants to take the lead in pressing for new free trade agreements and multilateral trade rules, putting the global trade agenda at risk amid rising tensions between the US and China.
Other potential routes could address shortcomings within the current system. For example, although the US pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the remaining countries, known as the TPP-11, developed a new pact, known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), keeping most of the original intact.
And, although economic barriers between the EU and the United States are already relatively low, a transatlantic trade pact could boost overall trade between the respective blocs by as much as 50%. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is one proposed agreement to service this, but nothing has yet been finalized.