News: Policy Brief
By Professor Peter Draper - Institute for International Trade
If ever the G20, the self-styled apex forum for international economic cooperation, needed to step up to the plate it is now. However, while it did so for the 2009 London Summit - in the eye of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) - it is highly unlikely to this time. It is also not clear what the definition of success is, unlike the GFC when the core objective was to save Western financial systems from collapse. Each G20 country is correctly focused on managing its own health trajectory, with little policy bandwidth left to devote to international economic cooperation.
Industrial subsidies, state-owned enterprises and market distortions: Problems, proposals and a path forward
Weinian Hu - Research Fellow at Centre for European Policy Studies, Belgium.
Industrial subsidisation is an area identified for WTO rule-strengthening by the European Union (EU) and the Trilateral Trade Ministerial Cooperation (hereafter Trilateral Cooperation). The aim is to curb certain trade practices spearheaded by China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which allegedly engender over-capacity, distort markets and undermine the effectiveness of the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM). The obligations of transparency and notification prescribed by the ASCM require strengthening, too.
What future for the global trading system amid trade, technological and geopolitical confrontations?
By 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.
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.
Simon Evenett, Professor of International Trade and Economic Development at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
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.
Visiting Fellow Andrew Stoler - Serves on the Advisory Committee of the European Centre for International Political Economy and is a member of the International Academic Advisory Board of the United States Studies Centre (USSC) at the University of Sydney.
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.
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