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Roundtable event about the present challenges and future prospects of international trade

Today’s international trading system is characterised by continuous change and tensions that have not be seen for a long time. The Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade has organised a roundtable discussion in order to evaluate the most important ongoing trends and developments of international trade. The event was moderated by Péter Goreczky, colleague of the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Both invited experts agreed that 2019 is still expected to be a year of tensions and conflicts. Levente Blahó, senior analyst of Raiffeisen Bank emphasised that, due to his election promises President Trump has to go on with the conflicts he initiated in order to decrease the trade deficit of the country. Currently the major focus is on China, however if concluding an agreement with the Asian country, the USA will turn to its further major trading partners, most probably the European Union. As an EU member state Hungary itself is not an active participant of trade conflicts, nevertheless potential US tariffs on the European car industry would be painful for the Hungarian economy as well.

Tamás Vattai, diplomat of the Permanent Mission of Hungary to the UN and WTO underlined that the reform of WTO cannot be accomplished without active participation of the USA. So far Americans have been focusing on bilateral trade issues and formulated mostly expectations instead of presenting detailed proposals regarding the reform of WTO.