IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

International Trade under Threat: Stopping Protectionism Through Institutional Reforms


  • Georg Erber
  • Ulrich Thießen


The global economic crisis has led to a massive increase in unemployment, and nearly all governments have declared the protection of domestic jobs to be a central economic policy aim. In the US, an additional $790-billion economic stimulus package was adopted immediately after President Obama took office. The package includes a "Buy American" clause intended to give preferential treatment to domestic suppliers in public procurement, and is leading to countermeasures by other countries. In some cases, there have been tariff increases and trade-distorting currency depreciations. Already the announcement of protectionist measures can have immediate adverse effects on policy decisions elsewhere and one is reminded of the US Smoot-Hawley act of 1930 with its dramatic negative consequences on global trade and economic growth afterwards. Efforts should be made to strengthen multilateral organizations at this moment in the current global crisis. DIW Berlin advocates the reform of the International Monetary Fund. In addition, the G-20 should play a larger role in combating international financial crises. Finally, in the future, the EU should only be represented in the G-20 by a single representative.

Suggested Citation

  • Georg Erber & Ulrich Thießen, 2009. "International Trade under Threat: Stopping Protectionism Through Institutional Reforms," Weekly Report, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 5(15), pages 101-107.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwrp:wr5-15

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Buy American Clause; Stimulus package; Protectionism; Trade-barriers;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:diw:diwwrp:wr5-15. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.