News: World Trade Organisation
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.
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.
Professor Xiankun LU - China Institute for WTO Studies, University of International Business and Economics
China has tabled two formal documents on World Trade Organization (WTO) reform, these being the Position Paper on WTO Reform of November 2018 and the Proposal of China on WTO Reform of May 2019. Four aspects are highlighted in this article.
Jim Redden Visiting Fellow Institute for International Trade
Over the three day review, I was involved in a significant number of the workshops and plenaries, and held meetings with donors and recipient partners of Aid for Trade (AfT) gaining insights into a range of themes and issues that have emerged as high priorities for the next 2-3 years. Below I have attempted to summarise a number of those priorities.
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.
This work is licensed under Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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