Policy & Engagement

In recent years we have seen unprecedented debate concerning the legitimacy of trade agreements, widespread concern about the potential effects of globalisation and a dangerous resurgence of protectionism which has the potential to profoundly impact economic development and trade arrangements throughout the world. 

Today, more than ever, universities have a critical role to play in supporting the pursuit of effective, transparent and responsible trade policy which is both responsive to economic challenges and enables countries to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the global economy. 

The Institute for International Trade works closely with our partners to develop and maintain a deep dialogue with government, business, civil society and the wider public.

Analysis and IIT news

International Trade and Sustainable Development: The Future of Climate and Biodiversity Governance

Dr. Tracey Dodd, Prof. Johanna Kujala, Dr. Riikka Tapaninaho, Dr. Annika Blomberg, Dr. Anna Hannula, Heta Leinonen, and Filippe Delarissa Barros. History shows that existing approaches to international treaties, like the Paris Agreement, have not yet delivered adequate action to avoid catastrophic climate change by the turn of the century. A new approach to climate and biodiversity governance is therefore needed. Specifically, one that can consider tensions brewing across the principles of national interests and trade liberalism, and the critical issue of sustainable development that can ensure global economic stability and continued productive trade between nations.

Read more about The Future of Climate and Biodiversity Governance

The Value of Cross-border Digital Transmissions to MSMEs in Indonesia: Implications for Participation in the WTO E-commerce Moratorium

WORKING PAPER 15: Cross-border digital transmissions are crucial components of the global trading system. Currently, WTO members do not impose custom duties on inward flows, in-keeping with the WTO’s temporary moratorium. However, it is likely this moratorium will expire, and key members may move to impose taxes in the future. As our latest Working Paper attests, in Indonesia’s case this would amount to significant self-harm.

Read more about Implications for Participation in the WTO E-commerce Moratorium

Carbon Border Tax: How the CBAM could hold great potential for Australian Business

WORKING PAPER 14: Soon the Australian government’s Carbon Leakage review will recommend whether the country should adopt a border carbon tax, or not. In our latest Working Paper Dr Susan Stone sets out her reasoning for why we should.

Read more about How the CBAM could hold great potential for Australian Business

Trade Policy Decoded - Episode 11: MC13 and the Future of Rules Based Trade

In Episode 11 of Trade Policy Decoded, Pru and Peter discuss the outcomes of the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) of the World Trade Organisation held in Abu Dhabi from 26 Feb to 1 March 2024. The podcast delves into the reasons for the few positive outcomes and the increasing challenges to the multilateral system. This includes the possibility of the US withdrawing from the WTO under a potential second Trump Administration. Will plurilaterals save the day?

Read more about MC13 and the Future of Rules Based Trade

Beyond China: Why Australia must look to Southeast Asia for trade and investment

At the recently concluded Melbourne Summit Australia cemented its ties with ASEAN economies and announced a series of measures to support our businesses to grow their Southeast Asia footprints. In this incisive opinion Dr Nathan Gray makes the case for greater Australian economic engagement with the Southeast Asian region, and reflects on the government’s recent Southeast Asia 2040 Strategy.

Read more about Why Australia must look to Southeast Asia for trade and investment

Australia and its partners in the global trading system, in 2024

A collection of Opinions - Australia and its partners in the global trading system, in 2024.
With 2024 now in full swing this collection takes stock of key developments in the global trading system likely to shape Australia’s trade policies this year, as well as those of key trading partners. There is much going on in the trade policy world, and a collection such as this cannot do justice to the full complexity. Instead, we asked renowned experts to reflect on topics they think will have an impact this year.

Read more about Australia and its partners in the global trading system, in 2024

19

Dec

Reforming Special and Differential Treatment for Developing Countries in the WTO

Aniekan Ukpe (Lex Mercatoria Solicitors, Abuja). Aniekan Ukpe is a partner at Lex Mercatoria Solicitors. Clara Weinhardt (Maastricht University). Clara Weinhardt is Assistant Professor in International Relations at Maastricht University. 
Traditionally, SDT is envisioned to help developing countries to develop their economies through exports, and to enable them to pursue policy options they consider appropriate for their development. Relying on voluntary graduation and political pressure, however, is less likely to work whenever WTO members seek to renegotiate existing developing country flexibilities.

15

Dec

Seasons Greetings for 2023

The team at the Institute for International Trade would like to thank you for your ongoing support during 2023. Wishing you all a very safe and Happy Festive Season and Happy New Year! 

23

Nov

Food, agriculture, and climate at COP28 – and beyond

Anthony Cox - Senior Policy Advisor at Ecologic Institute. Ken Ash - Visiting Fellow at the Institute for International Trade, University of Adelaide & Director of Ash Global Insights. COP28 will see a welcome focus on food systems and agriculture with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Presidency pressing governments to commit to integrating food and agriculture more effectively into their national climate agendas. Our latest policy brief by Anthony Cox and Ken Ash highlights priority areas for the assembling governments to move from political declarations to concrete action.

14

Nov

2023 Australia-Thailand Economic Engagement Report

This report on the bilateral economic relationship between Australia and Thailand is part of an Australian Government focus to deepen trade and investment with the region in line with the Government’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040. It identifies products and sectors where both countries could be trading more with one another, areas where they can cooperate more closely on economic governance, and makes recommendations for strengthening political, institutional and people-to-people ties between the two economies.

04

Oct

Australia’s New International Development Directions and Implications for Trade in the Pacific

Jim Redden, is an External Trade and Development Advisor to DFAT, Director, Economic Development Services Ltd, and IIT Visiting FellowRecently Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong unveiled the government’s updated international development programme. In this Brief Visiting Fellow Jim Redden charts its contours, with focus on its Aid for Trade dimension in relation to the Pacific. This is particularly relevant to members of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (Plus), which recently came into force and is starting to demonstrate substantial positive impacts. These countries stand to benefit from the variety of trade-related assistance now available under the new development programme.

28

Sep

Whither (not Wither) Multilateralism: Priorities for G7 Trade Ministers

Ken Ash, Visiting Fellow, Institute for International Trade and formerly Director of Trade and Agriculture at the OECD. Is the high point in multilateral trade relations already 30 years in the past? Are notions of international cooperation and mutual benefit relics of an earlier time? Hopefully not, there is still much more to play for. Amidst the visible geopolitical tensions, and what often looks like a blurring of trade, economic, climate, and security interests, there are some encouraging signs recently. This brief considers prior developments that helped shape the nature of the trade policy debate today, offers an admittedly optimistic assessment of a renewed interest by G7 members in international cooperation, and highlights immediate priorities for action by G7 Trade Ministers

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