News: Policy Brief

International Trade and Sustainable Development: The Future of Climate and Biodiversity Governance

Developing Countries

Dr. Tracey Dodd, Prof. Johanna Kujala, Dr. Riikka Tapaninaho, Dr. Annika Blomberg, Dr. Anna Hannula, Heta Leinonen, and Filippe Delarissa Barros. History shows that existing approaches to international treaties, like the Paris Agreement, have not yet delivered adequate action to avoid catastrophic climate change by the turn of the century. A new approach to climate and biodiversity governance is therefore needed. Specifically, one that can consider tensions brewing across the principles of national interests and trade liberalism, and the critical issue of sustainable development that can ensure global economic stability and continued productive trade between nations.

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Reforming Special and Differential Treatment for Developing Countries in the WTO

Developing Countries

Aniekan Ukpe (Lex Mercatoria Solicitors, Abuja). Aniekan Ukpe is a partner at Lex Mercatoria Solicitors. Clara Weinhardt (Maastricht University). Clara Weinhardt is Assistant Professor in International Relations at Maastricht University. 
Traditionally, SDT is envisioned to help developing countries to develop their economies through exports, and to enable them to pursue policy options they consider appropriate for their development. Relying on voluntary graduation and political pressure, however, is less likely to work whenever WTO members seek to renegotiate existing developing country flexibilities.

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Food, agriculture, and climate at COP28 – and beyond

agriculture

Anthony Cox - Senior Policy Advisor at Ecologic Institute. Ken Ash - Visiting Fellow at the Institute for International Trade, University of Adelaide & Director of Ash Global Insights. COP28 will see a welcome focus on food systems and agriculture with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Presidency pressing governments to commit to integrating food and agriculture more effectively into their national climate agendas. Our latest policy brief by Anthony Cox and Ken Ash highlights priority areas for the assembling governments to move from political declarations to concrete action.

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Australia’s New International Development Directions and Implications for Trade in the Pacific

Pacific Trade

Jim Redden, is an External Trade and Development Advisor to DFAT, Director, Economic Development Services Ltd, and IIT Visiting FellowRecently Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong unveiled the government’s updated international development programme. In this Brief Visiting Fellow Jim Redden charts its contours, with focus on its Aid for Trade dimension in relation to the Pacific. This is particularly relevant to members of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (Plus), which recently came into force and is starting to demonstrate substantial positive impacts. These countries stand to benefit from the variety of trade-related assistance now available under the new development programme.

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Whither (not Wither) Multilateralism: Priorities for G7 Trade Ministers

No Planet B

Ken Ash, Visiting Fellow, Institute for International Trade and formerly Director of Trade and Agriculture at the OECD. Is the high point in multilateral trade relations already 30 years in the past? Are notions of international cooperation and mutual benefit relics of an earlier time? Hopefully not, there is still much more to play for. Amidst the visible geopolitical tensions, and what often looks like a blurring of trade, economic, climate, and security interests, there are some encouraging signs recently. This brief considers prior developments that helped shape the nature of the trade policy debate today, offers an admittedly optimistic assessment of a renewed interest by G7 members in international cooperation, and highlights immediate priorities for action by G7 Trade Ministers

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Carbon Tax Creep Beyond Industrial Goods: Challenges and Risks for Extending Coverage to Agriculture

Carbon Tax

Tim Ryan is completing a Masters in International Trade and Development at the University of Adelaide, and is Manager of Global Trade Development at Meat & Livestock Australia. 
Governments around the world are implementing emissions reduction policies to mitigate the impact of global warming, however the application of climate policies will occur at different speeds and depth due to varying levels of development and degrees of ambition. There are inherent dangers from unilateral expansion of carbon tax regimes, not least protectionism, hence this brief argue for a cautious and multilateral approach to carbon taxation.

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The Political Economy of Due Diligence Legislation

Field

Prof Peter Draper The Institute for International Trade, The University  of Adelaide. Prof Andreas Freytag, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena. Naoise McDonagh, Edith Cowan University. Prof Matthias Menter, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena. Western democracy increasingly values human and social rights, civil liberties, and sustainability issues. This is materialising into legalisation, obliging domestic businesses to both comply and enforce these values along supply chains. However, this legalisation has its controversies regarding compliance costs, impacts on foreign relationships, and effectiveness, inter alia. Due diligence legislation is inherently complex. This policy brief develops a conceptual overview of the political economy challenges when designing these laws and evaluates how Western countries could enforce values-based trade along international supply chains.

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Geopolitical tensions and economic fragmentation: a trade policy response

A stylized image of dried and cracked soil representing fragmentation

Carlos A. Primo Braga is an Adjunct Professor, Fundação Dom Cabral, Brazil; Visiting Professor at IMD, Switzerland and at El Colegio de México. 
Douglas Lippoldt is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI, Canada). At a time when effective global co-ordination and action are desperately required, developments on the ground present several challenges. The shock from the COVID-19 pandemic elicited protectionist sentiment in some areas and continues to weigh on the global economy, despite the heroic response by the medical community. The war in Ukraine is tremendously costly to the adversaries. It has also proven very costly to third parties, especially those dependent on food and energy supply from the region.

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Monitoring the impact of the EU’s new foreign investment screening mechanism

EU

Jens Hillebrand Pohl is a Research Scientist in the Faculty of Management and Business at Tampere University, Finland.
Amidst the rise of increased geoeconomic competition, the European Union introduced a foreign direct investment screening framework for member states. The framework coordinates member-state national screening mechanisms, rather than an EU-level screening authority, reflecting the compromise reached between the EU commissions favour of a  cautionary approach and the member states pushing for EU regulation. This policy brief outlines the Commission’s monitoring mandate over investment screening activity, proposing a set of parameters for measuring the impact of screening on investment.

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Open strategic autonomy and the new geoeconomics: consequences for EU trade policy

eu flags

Jens Hillebrand Pohl is a Research Scientist in the Faculty of Management and Business at Tampere University, Finland.
The geoeconomic paradigm shift has led the European Union in pursuit of open strategic autonomy, in response to the need for dynamic strategy to manage economic interdependence. Europe is adapting to global power competition through a range of policy areas increasing their geoeconomic competitiveness, including updating their geoeconomic defences through policy and strengthening their diminishing geoeconomic power through international cooperation.
  However, this does not simply result in effects to external relationships, but has exposed divisions amongst member states in how to manage Europe’s economic interdependence. 

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