Regionalism is sweeping the world trade system like wildfire. Multilateral WTO talks, meanwhile, proceed at a glacial pace. This correlation has led many observers to fear that regionalism’s boon is multilateralism’s bane.
Contagious FTAs: New evidence on the domino theory of regionalism
Dany Jaimovich, Richard Baldwin, 2 September 2010
Resources trade and the WTO
Michele Ruta, 4 August 2010
Trade in natural resources accounts for a growing share of world trade and a growing share of policymakers’ attention.
Let’s do a Doha deal
Robert Z. Lawrence, Gary Clyde Hufbauer, 6 July 2010
When it comes to the WTO’s Doha Round of trade negotiations, the resolution that came out of the G20 meeting in Toronto can be characterised as vapid. The best the G20 could do was to reiterate their support for achieving an agreement and direct their negotiators to “report on progress at our next meeting in Seoul where we will discuss the way forward”.
Doha and development: Market access, trade costs and aid for trade
Bernard Hoekman, 19 June 2010
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the precursor to the WTO, was a club that allowed for membership à la carte.
Alternatives to consensus at the WTO
Philip Levy, 19 June 2010
The trade negotiations known as the Doha Development Agenda were launched in 2001 and scheduled to conclude at the end of 2005. That did not happen. Nor did they conclude in 2006, 2007, or 2008, despite urgent importuning and gatherings of dignitaries.
Needed: A new approach to reduce regulatory barriers to trade
Geza Feketekuty, 19 June 2010
As the WTO negotiations have moved from a focus on reducing tariffs to addressing barriers to trade, the traditional GATT mercantilist bargaining process has become less effective. This process proved highly successful in past rounds of multilateral trade negotiations in reducing tariffs because it enabled countries to obtain a double bargain.
The WTO dispute settlement system would survive without Doha
Chad P Bown, 19 June 2010
What do you get when you combine a sudden collapse in world trade, a global recession, a stalled round of multilateral negotiations, and a moderate-to-substantial increase in measurable protectionism? The answer, somewhat surprisingly, has been remarkably little trade friction – at least as measured by the number of trade disputes brought to the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism.
Sources of the WTO’s woes: Decision-making’s impossible trinity
Richard Baldwin, 7 June 2010
Compared to other international organisations, the GATT/WTO is a huge success. It presides over a rule-based trading system based on norms that are almost universally accepted and respected. Disputes are adjudicated by an international court whose rulings are almost universally implemented. Its membership is almost universal and it makes decision by consensus.
Retaliating against exchange-rate manipulation under WTO rules
Michael Waibel, 16 April 2010
Exchange-rate-based trade measures have gained prominence in recent years. Commentators observe such measures not only in the People’s Republic of China, but across a broad range of countries. Competitive devaluations are very much alive as a tool of economic statecraft, especially in the wake of the financial crisis.
Yuan to fight about it? The WTO legality of China’s exchange regime
Joel P. Trachtman, 30 April 2010
China joined the WTO on 11 December 2001, taking on all of the legal obligations of a WTO member. Today, the US continues its political attacks on China’s exchange-rate regime, raising the question of whether a legal case at the WTO might be successful in adding to the pressure on China.
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