Trade and Investment

The liberal international economic order is based on open markets, multilateral institutions, and liberal democracy. Today, it faces increasingly serious challenges by some of its leading architects, including the United States under its current leadership. Reciprocal allegations of unfair trade practices exchanged between leaders of the world’s largest economies, as well as constituents’ fears over negative effects of globalization have led to a rise in nationalist movements and protectionist attitudes across the world.

At a time when the reality of globalization, manifested in global trade and value-chains and borderless digital and financial economies, seems to necessitate increased international cooperation, the prospects of such efforts appear bleaker than ever. The transatlantic trade relationship is still by far the largest in the world. But once viewed as a driver of deepening global market integration, it appears frayed and at the center of concerns over increased trade disputes and a looming global economic downturn. 

And yet, does the trope that ‘in every crisis there is opportunity’ bear any truth, here? What are likely scenarios moving forward? Our panel of international experts will discuss.




Prof. Dr. Gabriel Felbermayr

Director of the ifo Center for International Economics

Prof. Dr. Gabriel Felbermayr is Director of the ifo Center for International Economics at the ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich. Simultaneously, he holds a chair in Economics at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich. His research deals with international trade agreements, trade and labor market outcomes, trade and environment. For further details, click here.


Eckart von Unger

Senior Manager
Federation of German Industries (BDI) in Brussels

As Senior Manager in the Brussels office, he is in charge of representing the BDI in all foreign trade and investment issues vis-á-vis the institutions of European Union and civil society. He is member of several committees and working groups on national and international level, e.g. in BUSINESSEUROPE, the Business and Industry Advisory Council to the OECD (BIAC) and the International Chamber of Commerce. Before moving to Brussels in 2009, Eckart von Unger held several position in BDI’s headquarter in Berlin (Germany).
Eckart von Unger has started his career in 2000 in the press office of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in the German Bundestag and in a strategic consultancy for governmental relations (Steltemeier & Rawe). He holds a Master of Economic Science (Diplom) from the Fee University of Berlin and a bachelor’s degree (Vordiplom) in Management and Business Administration from the University of Cologne.

Die Hoffotografen GmbH

Sandra Weeser

Member of the German Bundestag

Sandra Weeser is a member of the German Bundestag, Free Democratic Party (FDP), Rhineland-Palatinate.
She serves as member of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy and spokeswoman of the FDP group, Substitute member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, reporting on electricity grid and foreign trade.
Ms. Weeser worked at management of the Weeser GmbH in Betzdorf, as a customer care manager at Rexnord GmbH in Betzdorf from 2011 to 2016 and was appointed vice-president of the Structural and Approval Directorate North in Koblenz from 2016 to 2017.

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Peter Young

Senior Expert
Directorate General for Trade, European Commission

Peter Young is a Senior Expert in Unit E.1, DG Trade, European Commission. This unit manages the trade relations of the European Union with the United States and Canada.  He joined the Unit in September 2017 and is responsible for overall coordination of relations with the US.
Peter Young joined the European Commission, DG Trade, in April 1998, serving initially in the Unit dealing with WTO affairs, where he was responsible notably for WTO accessions and EU policy on regional trade agreements. Before joining the European Commission, Peter Young was Assistant Director (Head of Unit) in the United Kingdom Department of Trade and Industry. His career in UK Government service included a posting in Geneva as Second Secretary to the UK Mission to the GATT/WTO between 1992 and 1996.





Deputy Director Berlin Office,
Senior Transatlantic Fellow
German Marshall Fund (GMF)

Sudha David-Wilp is a senior transatlantic fellow and deputy director of the Berlin office. She joined GMF’s Berlin office in September 2011. She oversees GMF's Congress-Bundestag Forum, a joint program with the Robert Bosch Foundation, and engages with the media as an expert on German-U.S. relations, and covers transatlantic digital topics.
Before moving to Berlin, she was the director of international programs at the U.S. Association of Former Members of the Congress in Washington, DC for nearly eight years. At the Association, David-Wilp was responsible for congressional study groups and international programs for current members of Congress and senior congressional staff. She established a trilateral roundtable format for legislators and launched a speakers' program involving current and former lawmakers.
She received her bachelor’s from Johns Hopkins University, with a major in international relations and a minor in writing seminars. She received her master’s in international relations from Columbia University.