How can international trade be organized fairer and more climate-friendly while at the same time meeting competition policy requirements? The “Changing Politics of Transatlantic Trade Relations” was discussed at the FOTAR 2022 conference on Dec. 8.

The renowned speakers from politics, business, science and society, spoke to around 60 guests in 3 panels in the atrium of the Hamburg State and University Library. This was followed by a Senate reception in Hamburg City Hall. Between the program items, speakers and guests exchanged ideas in a lively way.

FOTAR 2022 began with an opening address by Malin Oud of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute Stockholm, in which she focused intensively on China and its role as a challenger to the transatlantic partners. The first panel of the conference then asked to what extent EU and U.S. trade policies can address social inequality, particularly at the global level. In particular, Madita-Standke Erdmann of the German Women’s Council pointed out the problem of gender inequality.

The subsequent second panel, subsequently, discussed how western countries can diversify their supply chains. Against the backdrop of the current energy crisis, the five panelists and moderator Julia Friedlander also addressed this acute question with regard to China’s market power in the technology sector. Tim Rühlig of the German Council on Foreign Relations took a stand on protectionist measures: “We shouldn’t try to seal off our economy from other countries to the same extent as China.”

The subject of the third panel discussion was to what extent transatlantic trade can contribute to solving the climate problem. The responsibility of the industrialized countries EU and USA was also pointed out. Former Minister of Public Works in Liberia W. Gyude Moore clarified how dramatic he thinks climate change is: “The climate crisis is more destructive than Covid-19.”

After the discussions in the Lichthof were over, many of the participants moved on to the Senate Reception in the City Hall. The reception began with a welcome by the Senator of Finance of the City of Hamburg, Dr. Andreas Dressel. In the absence of Dr. Meik Woyke, Elisabeth Winter from the Chancellor Helmut Schmidt Foundation took over some welcoming words. On behalf of the Europa-Kolleg Prof. Dr. Markus Kotzur welcomed the guests.

Finally, the discussion continued in the magnificent Kaisersaal of the town hall: Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook, Vice President of the Bertelsmann Foundation, spoke about the role of cities in international trade policy. Quoting Benjamin Franklin, she expressed her conviction: “We must indeed all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” Prof. Dr. Markus Kotzur thanked all speakers and participants of FOTAR 2022 and summarized the results of the conference at the end on 3 necessary maxims: “Competition, Cooperation, Convergence.”

The Europa-Kolleg Hamburg would like to thank all participants of FOTAR 2022 and is looking forward to the next conference together with the Chancellor Helmut Schmidt Foundation.

Click here for the video of the live stream of FOTAR 2022.