The value of world trade is falling. This column, which introduces the 18th Global Trade Alert report, shows that the manufactures that account for a large share of the fall are those where G20 nations have imposed the most trade restrictions since 2014. G20 leaders should request that the Chinese G20 Presidency support initiatives to revive global trade and avoid more trade distortions.
Simon Evenett, Johannes Fritz, 12 November 2015
Bernard Hoekman, Camilo Umana Dajud, 24 September 2014
The evolution of the world trading system no longer supports the delivery of opportunities that follow from innovations in international business. This column is a statement by participants at a roundtable held in the EU Centre for Global Affairs, University of Adelaide, on 22 August 2014, which offers suggestions to improve global trade governance. Given that Australia is hosting the G20 Summit in November, the roundtable focused on actions that the G20 should consider to help attain its objective of boosting global growth performance.
James Boughton, 15 September 2014
The international financial system is not working fine and reforms of regional and global institutions are much needed. This column discusses some of the transformations that the IMF could implement in order to keep pace with the changes in the world economy. One problem for the credibility of the IMF is the G20 in its current design and organisation. Institutional reforms, however, should be combined with advances in economic policy in order to promote economic growth and financial stability.
Chad Bown, 27 June 2014
Temporary trade barriers have become more than an important bellwether for contemporary protectionism; with persistent tariff levels, they are now a primary obstacle to free trade. The World Bank’s newly updated Temporary Trade Barriers Database suggests that the Great Recession-era increases in import protection may be levelling off. Now policymakers begin to face the daunting task of dismantling all of those temporary barriers they imposed during the early phase of the crisis.
Georgios Georgiades, Johannes Gräb, 08 December 2013
Existing data show that the historically well-documented relationship between growth, competitiveness, and trade protectionism does not hold in the context of the recent financial crisis. This column presents new evidence that this relationship, in fact, holds. G20 governments continue to pursue trade-restrictive policies in a recession, or when their competitiveness deteriorates. This holds for a wide array of trade policies, including ‘murky’ protectionism.
Ronald Steenblik, Jehan Sauvage, Jagoda Egeland, 15 September 2012
Reforming fossil fuel subsidies might seem to be an easy option – reduced fiscal outlays would help with debt problems while also helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This column argues that, despite growing interest in reforming them, there still exists much confusion over the concept and magnitude of fossil fuel subsidies – and this needs to change first.
Jeffry Frieden, Michael Pettis, Dani Rodrik, Ernesto Zedillo, 26 July 2012
Global economic cooperation can help mitigate many economic problems. But it is often difficult to justify, and even more difficult to achieve. This column argues that simple appeals to greater global governance are not likely to have much effect. It suggests that the future of the international economy does depend on the success of international cooperation; but this success in turn requires that governments have realistic expectations about how much can be accomplished at the global level.
Bruce Blonigen, Lindsay Oldenski, Nicholas Sly, 26 November 2011
The most recent G20 summit led to a multilateral agreement to facilitate information sharing between tax agencies, with the US currently negotiating bilateral tax treaties with the tax havens of Switzerland and Luxembourg. But before celebrations begin, this column points out that cracking down on tax evasion comes at a cost. International investment may well suffer.
Ernesto Talvi, Ignacio Munyo, 27 October 2011
The global crisis crippled advanced economies, but it also freed up financial resources that flooded emerging markets. This column introduces an index to identify the post-crisis winners and losers, digging into the causes of the new economic geography and exploring the vulnerability of emerging economies to a recurrence of a Lehman-type virus.
Simon Evenett, 20 July 2011
Despite the public commitments made at the Seoul G20 summit, this year protectionism has slipped off the work programme of G20 nations. The latest evidence published in the 9th Report of the Global Trade Alert, summarised here, shows that government resolve against protectionism has weakened as global economic prospects have dimmed. The global trading system is not out of the protectionist woods.
Simon Evenett, 20 July 2011
The 9th GTA report shows that the pick-up in protectionism since the Seoul G20 summit coincides with the deterioration in economic sentiment.
Barry Eichengreen, 26 June 2011
Global imbalances remain a key issue for G20 leaders. This column evaluates the progress made by G20 leaders in the run up to their Cannes summit this November, concluding that the G20 process is unlikely to protect us from the risks posed by disorderly unwinding of imbalances.
Philip Levy, 28 April 2011
The Obama Administration seems to view Doha delay as a minor issue since they view the export gains from the current package as small. This column argues that this calculation is based on a false premise that the status quo would continue even if the Round dragged on for years. Nations respect the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Mechanism verdicts in order to remain as members in good standing; this allows them to reap the benefits of the WTO as a negotiating forum. If the WTO collapses as a negotiating forum, nations may move towards a crass calculus that assesses verdicts only on the basis of the threats that back them. This would be a deeply regrettable move away from a rules-based global trading regime.
Ernesto Zedillo, 28 April 2011
What is needed for the Doha Round of trade negotiations to reach a satisfactory end? This essay argues that the talks need nothing less than the involvement of heads of government. Deepening economic integration requires improved global governance and completing the Doha Round must be part of this. Failure would put globalisation, and the enormous benefits it has brought about, at serious risk.
Parthasarathi Shome, Francis Rathinam, 20 February 2011
The world anticipates many things from India over the coming years, but what does India expect from the rest of the world? This column explores India’s immediate and long-term concerns for the G20. It argues that India is focused on achieving a global framework for more inclusive economic growth that encompasses developed and developing countries, as well as emerging markets.
Marc Auboin, 25 November 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.
Nicolas Véron, 19 November 2010
The endorsement of the Basel III accord on financial regulation at the recent G20 meetings in Seoul represents one of the event’s main outcomes. This column argues that while this initiative should be welcomed, global finance cannot realistically be submitted to a single rulebook and significant challenges remain.
Ernesto Zedillo, 18 November 2010
How should we judge the 2010 Seoul G20 meeting? A failure, according to this column. It argues that the G20’s failure to coordinate economic policies puts the global economy at risk and that there is little in the G20 Seoul Action Plan addressing the tensions that preceded the summit.
Biagio Bossone, 15 November 2010
The G20 meeting in Seoul last week still leaves many issues unresolved. This column addresses the G20 leaders and calls for global governance that can meet the needs of a global economy.
The Editors, 12 November 2010
The ongoing G20 summit addresses a wide range of economic policy questions. While some are familiar topics about which there is a professional consensus, several of the issues put political leaders at the far edges of our economic understanding. A series of Vox columns by leading economists has marshalled the best available theory and empirics to help illuminate the choices facing world leaders this week in Seoul. As a service to readers in a hurry, this column provides links to the most recent contributions.