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Strategic Autonomy
in Post-Covid Trade Policy

HOW FAR SHOULD WE POLITICISE SUPPLY CHAINS?

Published by IAI on the 28th, July 2021.

| 28/07/2021

This paper is part of a research cooperation between the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and Jacques Delors Institute (JDI). A previous version has been presented on 25 June 2021 during the webinar “EU Strategic Autonomy and Trade Policy in a Post-Covid World”.

→ Recording: https://www.iai.it/it/eventi/eu-strategic-autonomy-and-trade-policy-in-a-post-covid-world

Participants :

  • Alan Beattie, senior trade writer, financial times
  • Sylvie Bermann, former french ambassador, member of the board of directors, institut jacques delors
  • Christian Bluth, senior expert for globalisation, international economics and trade policy, bertelsmann stiftung
  • Fabrizio Botti, senior fellow, istituto affari internazionali (iai)
  • Elvire Fabry, senior research fellow, institut jacques delors
  • Paolo Guerrieri, visiting professor, psia – sciences-po, and scientific advisor, istituto affari internazionali (iai)
  • Pascal Lamy, president emeritus, institut jacques delors
  • Pier Carlo Padoan, vice president, istituto affari internazionali (iai)
  • Malorie Schaus, researcher, coordinator of the task force on the new industrial strategy for europe, ceps
  • Nathalie Tocci, director, istituto affari internazionali (iai)
ABSTRACT

The resilience of supply chain (SC) is a key nexus in the debate over the European Union’s strategic autonomy that continues to divide member states. To reduce critical dependencies on external supply, both diversification of supply and the reshoring of production have their limits. Moreover, the growing rivalry between the United States and China calls for the development of a systemic approach to SCs’ resilience that takes into account all levels of subcontracting beyond the first tier of supply. This calls for going beyond the traditional positioning of EU member states in favour of free market or public intervention, to work on a close coordination of an industrial policy that relies on a stronger attractiveness of the Single Market and a trade policy that aims less at protecting strategic industries from foreign competition than at applying precautionary measures that protect populations from supply shortages.

Paper prepared in the framework of the project “Politiche e strumenti per promuovere l’autonomia strategica dell’Ue nei settori della difesa, del commercio internazionale e dell’allargamento”. A previous version has been presented on 25 June 2021 during the webinar “EU Strategic Autonomy and Trade Policy in a Post-Covid World”.

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