This story is from the 2014 Access 25. Explore more from this issue

Dematerialized Globalism

Global trade is increasingly defined by trade in services, less so by hard goods. So should our trade policy, experts argue.

January 2014

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“Dematerialized globalism” refers to a world economy dominated more by wonkery than widgets. So say Arvind Subramanian and Martin Kessler of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in a 2013 paper “The Hyperglobalization of Trade and Its Future.” Unfortunately, these experts say, our trade policy hasn’t kept pace.

While nations have negotiated lower barriers to trade in goods, agreements for lowered barriers to trade in services have trailed behind. The Trade In Services Agreement (TISA), which includes the EU and 21 other countries, holds some hope.

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