International Trade

Conflict, Sanctions and the Future of World Trade

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been met with unprecedented trade and other economic sanctions. Some members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), including the United States, the European Union (EU), Japan and Canada, have revoked the most-favoured-nation (MFN) status granted to Russia under WTO rules. This allows them to raise tariffs and other barriers against Russian imports. Trade negotiations at the WTO involving Russia are faltering. Heightened geopolitical tensions raise questions about the consequences for the global trading system. Five scenarios have been identified and explored in this paper for the benefit of business and government leaders navigating an increasingly uncertain landscape.