News: World Trade Organisation
Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Dhaka, Bangladesh
Before the COVID-19 pandemic had struck in 2020, 12 LDCs had become eligible for graduation by either meeting at least two of the three graduation criteria, or thanks to having crossed the threshold of double the per capita GNI. Graduation during a pandemic raises significant risks in and of itself, but there are other issues too, including that graduation criteria fail to capture many of the underlying causes of vulnerability and institutional weaknesses that persist in the LDCs. Consequently, eligibility of a large number of LDCs for graduation has raised an important development debate as outlined in this article.
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”.
Andrew Stoler, former WTO Deputy Director-General; former Office of the United States Trade Representative senior trade negotiator.
“Joint Statement Initiatives” (JSIs) are today seen by many governments as crucial to making trade progress, given some WTO Members opposition to further liberalization and rulemaking on a multilateral basis. Two governments that have actively worked to stymie progress, India and South Africa, are currently challenging the legality of JSIs within the multilateral system of the WTO in a new bid to prevent other WTO Members from moving forward on the trade front.
Thursday 6 May, 2021
Over 140 participants from around the globe joined leading experts for an interactive and topical webinar discussing the WTO Joint Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation, hosted by the Institute for International Trade. A large high level panel, lead by key note speaker Jaime Coghi Arias - co-ordinator of the Joint Initiative spelled out the benefits of the potential Agreement
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.
Andreas Freytag, Professor and Chair of Economic Policy, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena and Visiting Professor with IIT
European Union (EU) foreign ministers have finally responded to China's documented human rights abuses by imposing sanctions on four individuals and one organization believed to be substantially involved in the oppression of Uyghurs in north-western China. Reports of the Chinese government's treatment of the Uighurs provide evidence of mass detention and human rights abuses.
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”
Douglas C. Lippoldt, International Trade Economist & Senior Fellow, CIGI, and Mark F. Schultz, Professor & Goodyear Chair in IP Law, University of Akron School of Law
The proposed Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement aims to promote innovation as a key priority, with provisions in support of bilateral foreign direct investment, balanced protection of intellectual property rights, and co-operation in research and development (R&D).
IIT Monthly Newsletter - March 2021. This edition of our monthly newsletter contains a rich set of insights into the challenges confronting the world trading system. Australia, being a middle power with extensive trade interests, has a strong stake in how they are addressed.
Tuesday 23 February, 2020. Leading experts from Asian Trade Centre, International Law and Global Governance, Edinburgh Law School, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade joined IIT to discuss recently published
e-book Revitalising Multilateralism: Pragmatic ideas for the new World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General.
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