Donald Trump is president of the United States, Great Britain is leaving the European Union, and nationalist parties are gaining support across Europe. Is the era of global free trade coming to an end, to be replaced by closed borders, tariffs and protectionism?
Scholars from Indiana University and Freie Universität Berlin will discuss the prospects Thursday at the IU Europe Gateway in Berlin. And you don’t have to fly to Berlin to hear what they have to say; you can watch online via live video stream, starting at 12:30 p.m. Bloomington time (6:30 p.m. in Berlin).
Speakers will be David P. Fidler, the James Louis Calamaras Professor of Law at the IU Maurer School of Law and an adjunct senior fellow on cybersecurity at the Council on Foreign Relations; and Steffen Hindelang, associate professor of constitutional and administrative law in the Department of Law at Freie Universität Berlin.
Stefan Maier, a member of the executive board of BDI — Federation of German Industries, will moderate the discussion, titled “The Future of Global Trade: Protectionism vs. Open Markets,” and lead a question-and-answer session.
Organizers of the event note that the past year has seen heated political discussion of the pros and cons of global trade, and it is unclear whether policymakers will continue to implement and develop trade agreements or whether they will move in a different direction. Trump has spoken disparagingly about the European Union, calling it “a vehicle for Germany.” On Monday, he signed an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the U.S. had helped negotiate but Congress had not ratified. With Britain in the process of leaving the EU, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel remains a leading champion of free trade and European unity.
The discussion is the third in a joint speaker series sponsored by IU and Freie Universität Berlin. In November, scholars discussed making sense of the 2016 U.S. election results.
The IU Europe Gateway opened in November 2015 in the Kreuzberg District of East Berlin. It is the university’s third facility for international faculty, student and alumni, launched after similar offices in New Delhi and Beijing.