News: World Trade Organisation
By Visiting Fellow Milton Churche. Milton Churche left the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2018 after working on trade policy since 1987. The Trump administration has called into question the value of trade agreements, including of the World Trade Organization
(WTO), abused the concept of national security to justify openly trade protectionist actions, invoked “trade wars” as legitimate policy tools to advance national objectives, and moved in the direction of managed trade. Would a Biden presidency bring a decisive change in direction on US trade policy?
Ken Ash is an Independent Consultant, IIT Visiting Fellow, and former OECD Director of Trade and Agriculture. Governments generally support the smooth functioning of their domestic economies, through maintaining systems of good governance and the rule of law and ensuring a coherent macroeconomic and structural policy environment. Extraordinary support is sometimes also warranted, as is the case today to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19. Few would dispute that these are essential roles for governments.
Geneva Trade Week 2020 is a digital conference organized by the Geneva Trade Platform and running from Friday the 25th of September through to Friday the 2nd of October.
Taking place in the week of the now cancelled WTO Public Forum, Geneva Trade Week brings together policymakers, academics, experts, the private sector and passionate activists to discuss trade, its impact, and its connection to the most pressing issues of our time.
By Dr Naoise McDonagh, Lecturer in Political Economy, Institute for International Trade, University of Adelaide and Professor Peter Draper, Executive Director, Institute for International Trade, The University of Adelaide.
The role of the state and market-distorting state intervention in the global economy have come increasingly to the fore in recent times, in large part as reaction to China’s rise to becoming the second largest world economy, and a direct competitor with developed economies across many sectors.
Richard Pomfret presented a paper on Uzbekistan’s WTO accession in the series Virtual Seminars on Applied Economics and Policy Analysis in Central Asia. The paper tracks what will be the longest ever WTO accession negotiations and emphasizes the changing nature of membership commitments since the WTO was established in 1995.
By Jaiwei Fu, IIT Visiting Researcher
On February 10, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative published an updated version of the "List of Developing and Least Developed Countries under U.S. Countervailing Duty Law" (CVD) in the Federal Register. Twenty countries, including India, Indonesia, South Africa, and Thailand, had their status as developing countries removed.
by Ziyaad Ebrahim, IIT PhD Candidate and Independent Trade and Development Consultant.
Africa is poised to be the next epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, according a report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). It suggests that in the best-case scenario, the virus would result in 300,000 deaths. At this stage, the mortality rate associated with the virus in the most affected regions is higher amongst the elderly population, whereas 60% of Africa’s population is below the age of 25.
Richard Pomfret - Professor of Economics & Jean Monnet Chair Economics of European Integration, The University of Adelaide
As COVID-19 curves flatten globally and policymakers’ attention turns to resuming economic activity safely, attention is inevitably focused on domestic matters. What is the trade-off between the economic costs of caution that delays economic revival and the health costs of over-hasty removal of measures that are holding back the spread of the virus?
Subsidization by states of their domestic industries to gain competitive advantage abroad is a perennial topic in international trade discussions. As the world moves into a multipolar environment and China rises in economic prominence, the rules governing subsidies, particularly to the industrial sector, are in the spotlight. The politics of reform are fraught, for a range of reasons ranging from states’ geo-economic positioning, through paralysis in the World Trade Organization, to domestic social considerations.
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.
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