The WTO has been experiencing deadlock in its negotiating function since the collapse of the Doha Round. This threatens to undermine the legitimacy of the WTO, and drive Members to seek progress outside the organization. The difficulties of agricultural negotiations offer a microcosm for understanding the wider multilateral universe. Against this background, a group of academics, former high-level officials of international institutions and former negotiators have come together to try to inject some new energy and new ideas into the multilateral process in a project called “New Pathways”.
Wednesday 5 May, 2021.
Under the Trump administration U.S. trade policy took a decidedly unilateralist turn, which had significant negative effects for multilateralism, referring to cooperation between nations in a rules-based world trading system. IIT’s Executive Director Professor Peter Draper provides probing moderation to draw out the key insights, in a must-watch conversation on U.S. trade policy.
Markus Jelitto is Counsellor at the Services Trade Division, WTO Secretariat, Geneva.
Services Trade has been growing continuously over the past three decades and was worth USD 13.3 trillion in 2017. Services value added accounts for almost half of all world trade (goods and services combined). Despite these impressive figures, the 2019 WTO World Trade Report finds that costs of trading services are about twice as high as trade cost for goods. A significant portion of these costs are attributable to regulatory divergence, as well as opaque regulations and cumbersome procedures. Through the development of disciplines on services domestic regulation, a group of currently 63 WTO members has set out to address these cost factors.
Professor Xiankun LU is former senior trade diplomat of China to the WTO and now Managing Director of the consulting firm LEDECO Geneva.
The polarized positions in the WTO, particularly between the US and China, on developing country status and ‘special and differential treatment’ (S&D), makes it not only difficult to find a solution on this issue, but also impossible to foresee solutions on other issues demanding WTO reform.
Naoise McDonagh, Lecturer in Political Economy, Institute for International Trade.
The EU and U.S. have a history of using trade agreements to project their value-systems on trading partners. The EU is forthright about this goal, stating: “projecting our rules and values in trade agreements helps the EU shape globalisation, especially on issues like human rights, working conditions and environmental protection”
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.
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.
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.
IIT Monthly Newsletter - February 2021
In this months edition of our newsletter we publish articles by Dr Pascal Kerneis - Managing Director of the European Services Forum, Brussels. Pascal discusses the EU-China negotiations for a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), What could this agreement bring to European service businesses? Patrick Low, formerly WTO Chief Economist, canvasses the emerging battle lines concerning taxation of digital services.
Carlos A. Primo Braga is an Adjunct Professor, Fundação Dom Cabral, Brazil.
The commercial and geopolitical conflict between China and the United States is unlikely to abate in the coming years. This brief discusses the contours of recent geopolitical history in order to contextualize the nature of this new “Cold War” between the two superpowers.
This work is licensed under Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
IIT is a global leader in researching, analysing and commenting on International Trade.
Stay informed about our up-and-coming seminars, events, publications, awards, new projects and collaborations, and other exciting news.