How much global trade governance should there be?
Simon Lester 20 January 2013
Trade agreements have become ‘deeper’ over recent years, and there are initiatives in the pipeline to globalise deeper trade governance through mega-regional agreements (such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership). This column argues that trade agreements in general – and the WTO in particular – should focus on what they do best, reducing protectionist barriers. Broader issues such as intellectual property and regulatory expropriation should be left to governments to deal with on their own. Governments that handle these issues most effectively will be the winners in the new world of supply-chain trade.
Trade agreements seem to be getting deeper, intruding on policy areas that were traditionally viewed as matters of purely national concern (WTO 2011, 2012). This differs considerably from the WTO’s original focus on protectionism (Lester 2013).
WTO, RTAs, BITs, global supply chain