The latest example of global cities bypassing central governments to conduct their own foreign policy and trade policy is the case of the City of London.

     London is sending its own delegation to Brussels to negotiate directly with the EU to establish a post-Brixit financial system to ensure the role of London in global finance. This is actually with the consent of Whitehall and EU officials in Brussels.

      To me this is the only the most recent example of global cities in the world and especially in the United States to engage in global commerce more forcefully. Especially since central governments seem to be incapable of developing meaningful policies for economic development and jobs that focus on trade, finance, investment and involving meaningful engagement with the global economic system.

      In the context of national sovereignty the older concern of sovereignty slipping and going to international organizations is receding in importance. It is now being raised as to the role of states and cities as they bypass central governments to formulate and negotiate their own foreign policies and trade policies directly with foreign governments. This is true as to countries that have a federal system of government as well as non-federal ones.

      National sub-divisions are finding it crucial to interact with the global systems directly, out of necessity since central governments have not been very good at this for a long time.

     Stay tuned …………..


London and Brussels.” Financial Times (July 3, 2017).

About Stuart Malawer

Distinguished Service Professor of Law & International Trade at George Mason University (Schar School of Public Policy).
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