Keith Wilson, Senior International Trade Law Counsellor, Institute of International Trade
Contributions at the third Global Solutions Summit (www.global-solutions.international) addressed the full spectrum of challenges in a period of major change – and a looming sense of crisis – in the international political, economic and social order. These were the four key priorities I took away from the 2019 Summit held in Berlin, Germany from 18-19 March 2019, in support of the Japanese Presidency of the G20/T20. The Think 20 (T20) will be held in May, leading up to the G20 itself in Osaka in June 2019.
Given Australia’s significant economic integration into the world trading system, foreign protectionism poses a genuine threat to Australian living standards. While the current US administration’s trade policy has put the spotlight on protectionism, in fact over the past decade there has been sustained resort to trade distortions by many governments.
The Marrakesh Agreement’s Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) represented a major step forward in trade dispute settlement from the largely ineffective pre-1995 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) system. Under GATT, dispute-settlement panels’ establishment was frequently blocked; panels that were established frequently had their reports’ adoption blocked by losing parties; timeframes were ineffective; and American dissatisfaction often led to unilateral trade actions implemented pursuant to Washington’s s. 301 statute.