Last year Donald Trump pulled the US out of a Pacific trade agreement, calling it a terrible deal. But now the other countries have signed it anyway, creating the world's biggest free trade zone.
The EU and Japan have signed an unprecedented free trade agreement which will create one of the world's largest trading blocs. European Council President Donald Tusk says it is a "clear message" against protectionism.
Despite a raft of negative headlines on the trade front, the EU has been busy doing free trade deals with Canada, Japan and Mexico. A deal with South American bloc Mercosur may be next, with optimism on both sides.
Since helping shape the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) in 1948, the World Trade Organization's forerunner, the US has been at the forefront of trade liberalization. That era appears to be ending.
Does anyone take the WTO seriously anymore? The globalist agency, tasked with dealing with trade agreements and settling trade disputes, had been sidelined for years even before Trump revived protectionism.
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