News: World Trade System
Anabel Gonzalez -Independent consultant on Trade and Investment. With trade conflicts, new technologies and geopolitical competition reshaping the global economy, the trade and investment policy landscape is rapidly changing. While different scenarios are playing out, managed trade is gaining traction, rules are increasingly fragmented in competing spheres of influence and global trade governance is weakening. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is under strain and the business environment is more uncertain, volatile and increasingly power-driven than before.
On 22 October IIT staff and students participated in the launch of World in a Box by Minister for Trade Tourism and Investment, Senator The Hon Simon Birmingham at the University of Adelaide. The short film commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first international container ship in Australian ports. The Minister was welcomed by Executive Dean of the Faculty of Professions, Professor John Williams. The audience contained DFAT officials and representatives from Australian ports and exporters as well as from Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping line.
The Trade and Investment in Services Associates (TIISA) network held its first annual conference at the World Trade Institute at the University of Bern in Switzerland on 20-21 September. Researchers from six of the partner institutions presented papers around the theme Trade in Services by Mode of Supply. The conference also included papers from staff of the WTO, the OECD and the US Federal Reserve highlighting major new advances in data on services trade as well as services research from those institutions.
Hosted by the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, on 13 September 2019. Participants investigated why the time is opportune by examining the evolution of EU and Australian trade policies and situating this evolution in the twenty-first century world trading system. Background papers were presented by Philomena Murray (University of Melbourne), Lucian Cernat (EU Chief Trade Economist), Richard Pomfret (Director, CoE) and Michael Plummer (Director, The Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe, Bologna).
By Professor Andreas Freytag
FSU Jena, University of Stellenbosch, CESifo Research Network, and STIAS
September 13th, 2019
Since his inauguration in late July 2019, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has not missed a single opportunity to push himself into the international limelight and provoke controversial reactions in Britain and elsewhere. The tentative climax of the Johnson show was his forced prorogue of the British House of Commons a few weeks before Britain's final exit from the European Union (EU).
Speaking at IIT's recent ‘Rethinking Trade Architecture’ conference held at The Intercontinental Hotel on 10 September, Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff reflected on the current challenges facing the world trading system and what the system might look like in the year 2050. He foresaw that the system will continue to be tested but it will endure and improvements will be made to make it “effective with respect to all aspects of global needs, not least economic development”. To read his full speech click here
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.
In a world of disruptors and “virtual” globalization, how should we prepare and respond to “future-proof” jobs and hard-won prosperity? Who will be the winners, and who the losers? What strategies may be implemented to harness the major economic forces shaping the global future, address a resultant rise in inequality, and populism, and focus on issues including the social value of work.
On 18-21 June 2019, Richard Pomfret gave an intensive seminar to PhD students in Tashkent on Economic Development, Trade and Value Chains, focusing on potential for future trade between Central Asia and the EU.
The Institute for International Trade hosted a visit and public lecture by Professor James Bacchus on 14 June 2019. Professor Bacchus currently serves as a Distinguished University Professor of Global Affairs and the Director of the Centre for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity at the University of Central Florida. He was a founding member, and twice Chairman, of the Appellate Body of the WTO and served as a former member of the US House of Representatives.