Trade politics and policies do not operate in a vacuum, and, against this backdrop, negotiations on new trade agreements have provoked heated debate in many countries over the past few years. Especially at a time when the hitherto stalwart defender of trade openness, the United States, is reconsidering its trade posture, demonstrating its potential willingness to erect trade barriers and assume a more confrontational stance under the influence of its unpredictable and erratic new president.
Given the tremendous value in and necessity of shaping international trade and investment towards a more progressive direction, the global progressive movement needs to find intelligent and intelligible answers to these issues.
In this view, FEPS, GPF (Global Progressive Forum), S&D (Group of the Progressive Alliance of the Socialists and Democrats), PES (Party of European Socialists), SOLIDAR, and ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation) have jointly decided to promote a wide and ambitious project to address and discuss with experts, NGOs and progressive leaders some of the most divisive issues about trade agreements.
A keynote speech by Professor Joseph Stiglitz will be followed by a roundtable discussion. High-level, pertinent stakeholders from the US and Europe will gather together to discuss and debate throughout the day, focused on three topics:
- Trade agreements and their affects
- Current trade imbalances
- The political reality of international trade agreements