FOTAR (Future of Transatlantic Relations) is a conference format devised and run by Europa-Kolleg Hamburg and Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung and supported by generous funding from Hamburg’s Ministry for Science, Research, Equality and Districts. It brings together decision-makers, academics, civil society and business representatives from the US and Europe to debate current trends and future scenarios of the transatlantic partnership. FOTAR is held in Hamburg every two years.

FOTAR2022: The Changing Politics of Transatlantic Trade Relations

International Conference | Hamburg, 8 December 2022

Globalisation is under a strain. Yet, the transatlantic debate about it is very much alive. On December 8th, 2022 for the third time, the FOTAR (Future of Transatlantic Relations) conference format, hosted by Europa-Kolleg Hamburg and the Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung, invited distinguished international speakers from various backgrounds to discuss pressing issues that affect both sides of the Atlantic. This year, the focus of the conference lay on the question how the transatlantic trade partnership can contribute to the socio-economic transformation of the global economic system. A keynote, three panels and a reception at the Hamburg Senate approached this complex issue from various points of view, focusing on the linkages between trade and human rights, social inequality, technology, climate change and the role of cities.

Trade has always been a cornerstone of the transatlantic partnership. But amid a multitude of global crises, classical liberal paradigms such as the invisible hand of the market and the democratising effect of trade integration are questioned, demanding a stronger role of the state. Or as speaker Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook summarised: ‘Politics is back on the stage of globalisation’. This does not only hold true for consultations between different governments in the transatlantic partnership or multilateral institutions where actors such as China loom large but also for countries from the Global South and civil society that rightly demand a say in designing globalisation.

Transatlantic partners can play a crucial role in driving change for a more inclusive form of globalization that increases our efforts to reduce social inequality, strengthen technological progress for good, and foster our engagement to tackle climate change when engaging in multinational dialogues on a level playing field and finding new ways to implementing human rights-based approaches in international trade relations.

Conference Stream


KEYNOTE WITH Q&A: A Human Face for Trade: Human rights and global trade

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Democratic values build the foundation of the transatlantic security and trade partnership. Internationally interconnected through global supply chains, the protection of human rights cannot end at transatlantic borders. How can the United States and the European Union speak up for human rights along their global lines of production amid rising tensions with Russia and China?


Malin Oud, Raoul Wallenberg Institute Stockholm

Moderator: Elisabeth Winter, Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung

PANEL 1: Transatlantic Trade for Good: Fighting Social Inequality

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Globalisation produces winners and losers everywhere. Social inequality and its economic and political consequences have become a major global and transatlantic societal challenge, marginalizing those already discriminated, polarizing societies and eroding democratic institutions. How can transatlantic trade become a tool for socioeconomic inclusion in the European Union, the United States and beyond? To what extent can transatlantic partners fight the imminent food crisis in the Global South? What trade policies put people first to foster prosperity for all?


Matt Duss, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Svenja Hahn, MEP (Renew Europe); Member of INTA

Madita Standke-Erdmann, National Council of German Women’s Organizations

Lori Wallach, American Economic Liberties Project

Moderator: PD Dr. Andreas Grimmel, Europa-Kolleg Hamburg

PANEL 2: The Race for Technology: Building Resilient Transatlantic Trade Relations

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Transatlantic and Chinese economies are closely integrated, while their governments are engaging in an intensifying systemic rivalry. Having the edge on new technologies will be match-winning. What makes global supply chains resilient when facing interdependent greatpower competition? How can EU-US trade policies shield emerging technologies from the abuse by authoritarian governments but support legitimate trade and advancement in these technologies?


Berend Diekmann, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWi)

Adam S. Hersh, Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C

James Lewis, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Tim Rühlig, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)

Natalie Schnelle, SAP SE

Moderator: Julia Friedlander, Atlantik-Brücke e.V.

PANEL 3: Transatlantic Climate Action Needed: Trading for a Healthier Planet

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

To achieve the desired global climate mitigation results requires action on global trade: together with China, the US and the EU account for about half of global trade and CO2 emissions. What are potential transatlantic trade policy instruments to complement international efforts? Is it possible to reconcile short-time energy security with long-term sustainability? And how can a new transatlantic commitment to green trade make a global impact?


Samantha Gross, Brookings Institution

W. Gyude Moore, Center for Global Development

Dr. Nina Scheer, MdB (SPD)

Andreas Weichert: Embassy of Canade to Germany; Commercial & Economic Affairs

Moderator: Prof Dr. Markus Kotzur, Europa-Kolleg Hamburg

About the Cooperation

between Europa-Kolleg Hamburg and Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung

Europa-Kolleg HamburgBundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung
The Europa-Kolleg Hamburg is an internationally recognised, interdisciplinary institution for education and research in the field of European integration. With the Institute for European Integration and two Master Programmes, the Europa-Kolleg Hamburg offers an excellent platform for research, teaching and learning in the area of European studies. Renowned lecturers, the specialised library for European studies, the integrated residential area, important projects, events and publications provide a stimulating environment for students and researchers from around the world who have the highest expectations in the area of European integration.

The Europa-Kolleg Hamburg was founded in 1953 as a non-profit-making foundation under private law. The foundation has the objective of furthering research and academic teachings in the area of European Integration and international cooperation. The foundation contributes to the financing thereof and executes all the connected administrative tasks. The foundation is supervised by an Honorary Board and is advised by a Board of Trustees.
The Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung commemorates one of the most important 20th-century German statesmen. As a future-oriented think tank, it addresses issues that also interested Schmidt. Three overarching programmes are at the heart of the foundation’s work programme: 1) European and International Politics, 2) Global Markets and Social Justice and 3) Democracy and Society.

Closely meshed with these programmes, the permanent exhibition “Schmidt! Living democracy” in Hamburg’s city centre reflects almost half a century of German and international contemporary history. It places the achievements of its namesake in current and historical context. In the Helmut Schmidt-Archiv in Hamburg’s Langenhorn neighbourhood, the foundation makes the private documents of Schmidt and his wife Loki available to researchers and grants the public access to the Schmidts’ former private home.