Interview: Global Trade at Geopolitical Crossroads

- Jan 16, 2018-

john-sitilides1-768x585.jpgThe year opened with the inauguration of a new American president, Donald Trump, who is championing the “America First” ideology. In Europe, the United Kingdom decided to pull out from the European Union, while in Germany, France and the Netherlands, right-wing and anti-EU parties secured major support from voters in national elections. Furthermore, tensions between the Western powers and North Korea continued to heighten over Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

However, the global trade seems to have endured numerous challenges and there have been signs of gradual recovery.

As the industry enters a new year, World Maritime News spoke with John Sitilides, Geopolitical Strategist at Trilogy Advisors in Washington D.C., on geopolitical challenges that lie ahead. Sitilides is a diplomacy consultant to the U.S. Department of State and a keynote speaker on global risk management and American politics.

Speaking of the impact of growing popularity of protectionist policies on global trade primarily led by the Trump Administration, and Trump’s refusal to sign any regional or multi-party trade agreement, Sitilides said that Trump’s election and the Brexit vote reflect the growing national impulses of citizens in advanced economies around the world.

“They are concerned about the wealth imbalances brought about by globalization, and increasingly furious about political corruption and evasion of justice by their own elites. They expect their political leaders to advance sovereign interests above multilateral agreements that may benefit political and financial leaders at the expense of the broader citizenry,” Sitilides explains.

President Trump has stated his intention to correct trade imbalances caused by “unscrupulous practices against the U.S. by countries or companies cheating on trade deals, or supporting unfair tariffs, subsidies and trade barriers.”

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