The multilateral trading system of the GATT and WTO is rapidly being replaced by a system dominated by preferential trade agreements. This column argues that this new system is complex in nature and provides a novel assessment of the implications for signatory countries and third parties.
Marco Fugazza, Alessandro Nicita, Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Marc Auboin, Thursday, November 25, 2010
While liquidity has returned to the main routes of international trade, at the periphery a group of developing countries, particular low income one, are still suffering from lack of affordable trade financing. This column outlines how the recent G20 meeting in Seoul has provided a mandate to multilateral institutions to address this problem.
Kati Suominen, Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Will financial regionalism damagingly fragment the global financial architecture precisely at the time when sturdy system-wide management is needed? This column points to the world trading system’s engagement with regional trade agreements as a source of lessons for how to harmonise regional and global approaches to international finance.
Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Kati Suominen, Wednesday, October 13, 2010
The global crisis has rocked people’s faith in globalisation. This column introduces a new book arguing that, despite taking a step back, globalisation is one of the most travelled routes the world has known for spreading growth and prosperity. It provides policy recommendations for renovating that road dealing with the WTO, social security, global imbalances, and foreign direct investment.
Susan Ariel Aaronson, Friday, October 1, 2010
In response to Dr. Cernat’s call for feedback on the EU’s trade policy, this column calls on Europeans and Americans to rethink their trade policies. It argues both can meet 21st century needs only by collaborating, mostly at the WTO. Trade policy challenges are also an opportunity to make the system more coherent and meet the goals of expanding trade, enhancing human welfare and increasing employment.
Simon J Evenett, Saturday, September 25, 2010
EU trade policy has accomplished little of substance during the past decade. This column, a contribution to the ongoing VoxEU debate on The Future of EU Trade Policy, identifies five reality checks that should be taken on board as the European Commission and the Member States reformulate their approach to commercial relations.
Thomas Prusa, Robert Teh, Wednesday, September 15, 2010
While countries rush to enact more and more free-trade agreements, not enough is known about their impact. This column presents evidence suggesting that free-trade agreements are more discriminatory than their preferential tariffs suggest. It finds a stark increase in contingent protection as free-trade agreements cause a 10%-30% increase in the number of antidumping disputes against non-member countries.
Dany Jaimovich, Richard Baldwin, Thursday, September 2, 2010
As WTO trade talks languish, what’s driving the surge in regional trade agreements? This column says that regionalism is being driven in large part by the domino effect, in which nations excluded from a trade agreement launch their own negotiations to redress trade diversion. This dynamic is more of a challenge to the WTO than a threat at the moment, but it should not be neglected.
Michele Ruta, Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Trade in natural resources accounts for a growing share of world trade and a growing share of policymakers’ attention. Given the economic, environmental, and political implications of natural resources, this column asks how to design rules that can promote mutual gains from resources trade. It provides recommendations for export policy, conservation policy, and domestic policy.
Robert Z. Lawrence, Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Originally scheduled to end in 2005, Doha negotiations have dragged into their ninth year. This column argues that, while many observers assign blame to the complexity of 153 members reaching a consensus, the heart of the matter is far simpler. It says that if the US and China come up with new offers, the momentum for a speedy agreement will be unstoppable.
Bernard Hoekman, Saturday, June 19, 2010
A key objective of the WTO Doha Round was to address the concerns of developing countries. This column argues that, despite the lack of progress on the core market access agenda, much has been achieved in terms of market access and trade facilitation since 2001.
Philip Levy, Saturday, June 19, 2010
The persistent failure to reach a new agreement under the WTO has sent trade scholars back to the drawing board. This column discusses two prominent ideas for restructuring the talks to get past the prolonged impasse. One is to permit agreements between some, but not all, members; the other to relax the requirement of consensus.
Geza Feketekuty, Saturday, June 19, 2010
What is holding back the Doha Round? This column argues that while there are many reasons for the difficulties the WTO has faced, the shortcomings of the mercantilist model in framing mutually acceptable multilateral agreements is undoubtedly a major factor. The WTO needs a new kind of forum where countries can think through the issues before the give and take.
Chad P Bown, Saturday, June 19, 2010
The international community responded to the global crisis with a promise not to raise protectionist measures, and there has been little trade friction in terms of WTO disputes. This column assesses the dispute settlement system's capacity to bear a larger caseload and suggests that an increase in WTO litigation could be good news for the rules-based trading system – even in the absence of progress on the Doha round.
Richard Baldwin, Saturday, June 5, 2010
The WTO is said to be in a funk – unable to conclude the Doha Round even as its members liberalise unilaterally and regionally. CEPR's newest Policy Insight argues that tactics used to get consensus at the last Round pushed the organisation into decision-making’s “impossible trinity” (consensus, uniform rules, and strict enforcement). A Doha package with something for everyone may be found, thus defeating the impossible triangle. The big-package tactic, however, won’t help the WTO confront 21st century challenges in a timely manner; for that, at least one of the triangle’s corners must be modified.
Richard Baldwin, Monday, June 7, 2010
The WTO is in a funk – unable to conclude the Doha Round even as its members liberalise unilaterally and regionally. This column introduces a Policy Insight arguing that the tactics used to conclude the last round pushed the organisation into decision-making’s “impossible trinity” (consensus, uniform rules, and strict enforcement). The Doha Round may succeed – defeating the triangle with the 'big package' tactic – but this tactic does not work fast enough to allow the WTO to confront 21st century challenges in a timely manner. At least one of the impossible triangle’s corners will have to be modified.
Michael Waibel, Friday, April 16, 2010
What legal basis is there for retaliating against China’s exchange-rate policy? This column says that IMF rules are likely inadequate to rule against China, while its policy does not constitute a WTO-punishable export subsidy. It argues that exchange-rate conflicts should be handled by a proposed IMF dispute settlement mechanism, not the WTO.
Joel P. Trachtman, Friday, April 30, 2010
Does the US have a legal case against China’s exchange-rate regime? This column, which first appeared in Vox's latest eBook, argues that any claim against China at the WTO would face substantial hurdles, and would be unlikely to add pressure on China any time soon. If a claim does go ahead, it is more likely than not to fail.
Dukgeun Ahn, Friday, April 16, 2010
How might the US take action through the WTO over China’s alleged currency manipulation? This column analyses three potential legal issues: legality of exchange-rate policy under the GATT rules, legality under the subsidy rules, and the feasibility of non-violation complaints. It concludes that any WTO resolution will be difficult to achieve because the organisation is not designed to deal with alleged exchange-rate manipulation.
Susan Ariel Aaronson, Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Is the WTO doomed? This column argues that the WTO’s credibility is waning and that to get it back it needs to reign in China’s erratic governance. China’s failure to enforce trade laws threatens the concept of mutual benefit that underpins the WTO. China is broken, and a broken China could break the WTO.