ICC Secretary General John Denton published a letter in Financial Times on September 5 titled, “Let’s be constructive on trade and not just vent.” The letter responds to recent critique of a “muted response from U.S. chief executives to the ongoing escalation in global trade tensions,” particularly in response to President Donald Trump‘s threat to pull the U.S. out of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“It is certainly true that there is an imperative for business to stand behind the multilateral trading system — now more so than ever,” writes Denton. “But I would suggest that the private sector has much more to offer than simply voicing its (well-founded) concerns. “Rather than adding fuel to the fire of an already polarized debate, business leaders must instead focus on helping governments chart a new course for trade policy-making that deals meaningfully with the pressures now building in the global economy. If tariffs are not the answer, then what are the alternatives? And how can the WTO, to use Mr Trump’s vernacular, best ‘shape up’ to avoid the U.S. shipping out?”
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