'' Protectionist turns '' [ January 14th ] highlighted America's startling shift towards protectionism, notably through subsidies.

Protectionism is not limited to the United States. Even in the digital economy, data from Global Trade Alert show that barriers to trade have been sharply on the rise, in particular through localisation requirements.

The European Union and G20 have initiated over 1,700 legal acts since 2020 alone.

Some view this as a response to American protectionism.

For instance, America's Commerce Department complained about a draft European scheme to classify cyber-security in the cloud [ the EU cloud-service certification ] because it allows only '' EU headquartered firms '' to gain the highest level of classification.

American firms could therefore be excluded from that lucrative EU market.

The scheme might also be in breach of the trade and cooperation agreement between Britain and the EU, and the EU's commitments in the WTO's general agreement on trade and government procurement.

Consumers and businesses and both sides of the Atlantic should worry about the prices and less choice that all this brings.

To rectify this we need a renewed consensus on non-discrimination and national treatment among trading partners, to save the international rule-based system that America once supported.

The World Students Society thanks author Pascal Kerneis, Managing Director, European Services Forum, BRUSSELS.


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