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

COVID-19 and Africa

Ziyaad Ebrahim, IIT PhD Candidate and Independent Trade and Development Consultant.
COVID-19 and Africa
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.

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COVID-19 and the ASEAN Summit: Acting on Medical Supplies and Food Security

Milton Churche and Michael Mugliston, visiting fellows, Institute for International Trade, The University of Adelaide
"A crisis in international leadership"
COVID-19 has presented the world with both a major health and economic crisis. These crises have so far revealed a lack of leadership at the international level, thereby preventing a concerted response in the way that we have often seen in previous crises.

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Industrial Subsidies, market competition, global trade and investment: Towards a research agenda

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.

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Global Trade Cooperation after COVID-19: Can the G20 contain disintegration?

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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Digital technologies, services and the fourth industrial revolution

By Jane Drake-Brockman, Industry Professor, Institute for International Trade, and Christopher Findlay, Emeritus Professor, Institute for International Trade
From 3D printing (3DP) and artificial intelligence (AI), to cloud computing, 5G, and the Internet-of-Things (IoT), digital technologies are prompting radical new business models offered through digital platforms that promise unparalleled productivity gains and global increases in standard-of-living. Adoption of new technologies is also impacting traditional demand and employment patterns in highly disruptive ways and radically altering the nature of consumer and business transactions. The changes underway raise major questions for traditional domestic regulatory settings and for trade, investment, innovation and industry policies for the digital age.

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Back to autarky? How to respond to supply shortages in medical devices during the Corona-crisis

By Andreas FreytagProfessor and Chair of Economic Policy, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena.
The ongoing covid-19 crisis has brought to the fore the vulnerability of societies relying on highly efficient global value chains (GVC) and single suppliers for specific goods. During the crisis, which first severely hit China as the central link in many GVCs, most countries have suffered a shortage of both simple and technologically complex medical devices (e.g. face masks and ventilators respectively). Fierce competition for these devices has emerged, leading to global tensions and trade restrictions, but also to a discussion about the organization of supply-chains and the need for national emergency stockpiling of medical devices.

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Ensuring Resilience of Global Supply of Essential Services in Combating COVID-19

By The Global Services Coalition
As the world continues to grapple with the global COVID-19 pandemic, the members of the Global Services Coalition wish to express solidarity with the work of governments and international institutions to combat its spread. As associations representing all segments of the services industry, we call on governments to take a range of critical measures to maintain resilience in the supply of essential services during this time of crisis.



COVID-19: Offering us a glimpse into the future of work, the global economy and technology

By Simon Lacey - Senior Lecturer in International Trade, Institute for International Trade
COVID-19 has already exacted a horrific death toll in dozens of countries and is only going to get worse in the coming weeks and months. The same is true of the economic fallout it has caused. Soon political leaders will have to make extremely difficult choices as the trade-offs between saving lives and saving economies become even more stark. 



Geopolitics, Trade and Protectionism: Covid-19’s impact and paths forward

Dr. Naoise McDonagh - Lecturer in Political Economy, Institute for International Trade
As the coronavirus continues to spread globally, country after country has had to implement the three “L”s: lockdown non-essential services and operations; lockout all non-essential people who are not citizens; lock-in all goods that are considered to be essential to managing the growing health emergency.



Non-Tariff Measures and Behind-the-Border Domestic Regulation Impacting Trade in Research and Innovation Services

Simon Lacey - Senior Lecturer in International Trade, The University of Adelaide
This topic is very interesting and slightly unusual, not least because non-tariff barriers are trade barriers that only affect trade in goods, since by definition a tariff can arguably only be levied on a physical good as it crosses a border. 



The EU and COVID-19

Richard Pomfret - Professor of Economics & Jean Monnet Chair Economics of European Integration, The University of Adelaide
The EU has had a crisis-ridden decade with the sovereign debt, migration and Brexit crises. By the end of 2019, with the Greek debt crisis winding down, migration and refugees out of the headlines and Brexit done, skies looked clearer for the new Commission under Ursula von der Leyen and the new head of the European Central Bank (ECB) Christine Lagarde. 



Women in International Trade, enabling world economies for gender equality

Adriana Espejo Sanchez - Ph.D. Candidate: Institute for International Trade, University of Adelaide
Celebrating women’s achievements globally during International Women’s Day 2020 provides an opportune time to reflect not only on the critical role women play in society, but also to consider what actions are still required on the road to gender parity..