Beggar-thy-Neighbour: Hurdles of International Trade Governance

Series: Speaker Series
September 12, 2016

Beggar-thy-Neighbour: Hurdles of International Trade Governance

Contrary to the predictions of abstract economic theories, liberalized global trade in practice does not "lift all boats."  In reality, international competition for exports and investment can lead to zero-sum or beggar-thy-neighbour consequences, producing losers as well as winners.  These effects damage economic performance (for particular countries, and potentially for the global economic system as a whole) and create political hurdles to international integration and cooperation.  This lecture will explore the economic rationale for beggar-thy-neighbour trade strategies, and will consider the sorts of governance mechanisms that would be necessary to regulate this dimension of international competition, so that the economic promise of efficiency-enhancing trade might be experienced more genuinely by all parties.

Jim Stanford, Harold Innis Industry Professor of Economics, McMaster University, and Director of the Centre for Future Work (Australia)

Jim Stanford is one of Canada’s best-known economic commentators. He served for many years as Economist and Director of Policy with Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector trade union (formerly the Canadian Auto Workers). He now advises the union, and is also the Harold Innis Industry Professor in Economics at McMaster University. Jim writes a regular economics column for the Globe and Mail, and is a founding member of CBC National Television’s “Bottom Line” economics panel.




From September to May each year, the CIGI Speaker Series are presented on important international topics to raise public awareness and understanding on a variety of current global issues. This series features some of the most prominent and acclaimed figures in their respective areas of global governance.
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