News: Opinions

With a new Director General, can the WTO become a force for progress again?

WTO

Andreas Freytag, Professor and Chair of Economic Policy, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena and Visiting Professor with IIT
Six months after the resignation of Roberto Azevédo the World Trade Organization (WTO) finally has a new leader. With Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the WTO is breaking new ground twice: for the first time in WTO history a woman is the Director-General, and for the first time the WTO is headed by an African woman.

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Is plurilateralism making the WTO an institutional zombie?

plurilateral agreements

Dr Naoise McDonagh is Lecturer in Political Economy at the Institute for International Trade. 
The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 2014 Trade Facilitation Agreement is the only significant multilateral agreement it has concluded since its inception in 1995. Against that success, significant failures stand out. 

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Rethinking WTO Rules on Chinese Industrial Subsidies, and Approaches for Future Reform

Op-ed Weihuan Zhou & Mandy Meng Fang

Weihuan Zhou is Associate Professor, Director of Research, and Member of the Herbert Smith Freehills China International Business and Economic Law (CIBEL) Centre, Faculty of Law and Justice, UNSW Sydney. Mandy Meng Fang is Assistant Professor, School of Law, City University of Hong Kong
The reform of WTO rules on industrial subsidies should be based on a better understanding of the efficacy of the rules on China and fresh principles and approaches. It is time for governments to rebuild the political will needed for international cooperation.

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Pursuing an Open Strategic Autonomy trade policy against China: Expect policy fluidity

Op-ed by Weinian Hu

Weinian Hu is Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies, Belgium. The EU’s Open Strategic Autonomy policy approach was first revealed under the Commission’s recovery plan post-Covid, which was released in May 2020.

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Putting the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) into perspective: Five key points

city scape view

Bryan Mercurio is Simon F.S. Li Professor of Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  On 30 December 2020, the European Union (EU) and China ‘in principle’ concluded  negotiations on a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). The European Commission published the text of the CAI on 22 January 2021. The agreement has been welcomed by the business community but criticised by civil society and the United States (US).

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Reforming industrial subsidies usage through the WTO: Process Proposals

Reforming industrial subsidies

Professor Peter Draper is Executive Director of the Institute for International Trade. Dr Naoise McDonagh is Lecturer in Political Economy at the Institute for International Trade.
The distorting effects of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and industrial subsidies on global market competition has become a topic of increasing importance for many World Trade Organization (WTO) members in recent years.

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The EU-China Investment Deal: Perspectives of the European services sectors on new opportunities in the world’s second largest economy

EU Flag

Dr Pascal Kerneis is Managing Director of the European Services Forum, Brussels.
On 30 December 2020, the European Union and China have concluded in principle the negotiations for a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). What could this agreement bring to European service businesses?

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Global Food Systems: Fit for the Future?

Global Food Systems

Ken Ash is an Independent Consultant, IIT Visiting Fellow, and former OECD Director of Trade and Agriculture.
Well-functioning global food systems matter, to all of usGlobal food systems perform well overall, and today provide more safe, nutritious, and affordable food per capita than ever before. At the same time, over 800 million people are undernourished and a higher number are overweight.

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The case for multilateral agreement on digital taxation

digital services

Patrick Low is Former Head of Research, WTO Secretariat 
The growing virtual economy is encouraging countries to introduce digital services taxes and similar mechanisms that are discriminatory, intentionally or otherwise. They distort economic outcomes, reduce growth and generate uncertainty. They provoke trade retaliation, and destabilize tax and trade regimes. A multilateral solution to digital taxation is urgently needed.

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Pacific Trade Agreement Opens Door for Travel Bubble and Rule of Law

Pacific Trade Opens door for travel bubble

Jim Redden; Director, Economic Development Services Ltd. Visiting Fellow, Institute for International Trade, Adelaide University and Peter Draper
Executive Director, Institute for International Trade, Adelaide University.
A ground-breaking trade agreement set to enter into force on December 13th(soon to be announced by Trade Minister Birmingham) could open the door for a regional travel corridor between Australia, New Zealand and most Pacific Island countries, while reinforcing the importance of a rules-based trade order in the region.

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The views expressed here are the author’s, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Institute for International Trade.

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