News: World Trade Organisation
Jim Redden Visiting Fellow Institute for International Trade
Over the three day review, I was involved in a significant number of the workshops and plenaries, and held meetings with donors and recipient partners of Aid for Trade (AfT) gaining insights into a range of themes and issues that have emerged as high priorities for the next 2-3 years. Below I have attempted to summarise a number of those priorities.
Mike Humphrey - Senior Trade Advisor IIT - As most international-trade observers are aware, debate is currently raging about the World Trade Organization’s relevance and role, its need for organisational reform, and the lack of progress in the Doha Round. Special and differential treatment (S&DT) provisions are an important component of this wider debate, and particularly the question of which countries should benefit from them—an issue intimately tied to the matter of self-designation.
Peter Draper, Executive Director, Institute for International Trade, University of Adelaide
How to make sense of recent manoeuvres amongst the major trading powers in relation to the WTO? The US is at the centre, so it is necessary to start there. Executive Director Professor Peter Draper reflects on these dynamics following recent travels to Tokyo, Geneva, and Florence.
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.
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.
The Japanese desire not to antagonize the Trump Administration means there is little prospect of concerted G20 action this year. IIT partnered with RIETI (based in Tokyo), and ANU’s Research School for Asia and the Pacific to host a Think 20 Trade taskforce dialogue on the G20’s trade agenda.
The Institute for International Trade hosts the 3rd Adelaide PhD Summer Institute in International Trade. Adelaide was the centre of PhD student research in international trade in Australasia on March 20 and 21, as twelve aspiring PhD students and Adelaide scholars in international trade met to discuss their research.