Patrick Low, 20 November 2009

Patrick Low, chief economist at the World Trade Organization (WTO), talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about the case for ‘critical mass’ decision-making as an element of the WTO’s overall decision rules in the future, once the Doha Round has been completed. The interview was recorded in Geneva at the inaugural Thinking Ahead on International Trade conference in September 2009.

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The fourth Summer Programme on the WTO, International Trade and Development will take place from June 28 to July 9, 2010 in Geneva. It will provide participants with a unique opportunity to enter into the analysis and atmosphere of multilateral trade. The programme, delivered with the Graduate Institute Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, combines economic, legal and political analysis of international trade and development.

Lectures and discussions will shed light on the following questions: the reasons why countries open their economies to trade and the reasons why they protect domestic industries, the means and pathways they use to either open or protect, what these considerations mean for the multilateral trading system and their implications for economic development.

Target Audience:
- Professionals keen to improve their knowledge on current major issues in international trade
- Students at MA level

Deadline for Applications
April 1, 2010

Simon Evenett, 24 September 2009

Simon Evenett of the University of St Gallen talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about ‘Broken Promises’, the latest report from Global Trade Alert, which collates information on state measures taken since last November that discriminate against foreign commercial interests, and reveals how the G20 countries have broken their 'no protectionism' pledge. The interview was recorded in Geneva at the inaugural Thinking Ahead on International Trade conference in September 2009.

Gary Hufbauer, Sherry Stephenson, 11 May 2009

The crisis has delivered a particularly strong blow to export revenues of small developing countries. These nations have limited room for deploying anti-cyclical packages and, as a group, do not account for a significant amount of total world trade. They should thus be temporarily awarded policy space to adopt trade measures to counter the impact of the current economic crisis.

Arvind Subramanian, Aaditya Mattoo, 30 March 2009

This column proposes the launch of a WTO Crisis Round at the G20 summit. Unlike the Doha round’s liberalising agenda, such a crisis round would simply aim to “hold the line on protectionism” and prevent a retreat from current levels of trade openness. This column that says that such action is necessary for the global trading system to survive these “potentially perilous times.”

Gary Hufbauer, Jeffrey Schott, 05 February 2009

The “Buy American” provision in the US stimulus package would violate US trade obligations, damage the US' reputation, and have almost no real impact on US jobs. Moreover, the provisions will be read as an Obama trade policy that leans toward protectionism – with severe consequences abroad.

Richard Baldwin, Simon Evenett, 04 December 2008

A collection of essays from 17 leading trade scholars from around the world addressing the question of what world leaders should do to stop the spread of protectionism.

Marc Auboin, 28 January 2009

Some 80% to 90% of world trade relies on trade finance, and there is little doubt that the trade finance market will experience difficult times in the first half of 2009 – difficulties that will contribute the global economic malaise. Public-backed institutions are responding, but are they doing enough?

Man-Keung Tang, Shang-Jin Wei, 22 January 2009

This column studies the growth and investment consequences of WTO/GATT accessions. Accessions tend to raise income but only for countries that were subject to rigorous accession procedures. Commitments associated with accessions are also found to be helpful especially for countries with poor governance.

Susan Ariel Aaronson, 20 January 2009

Critics argue that WTO rules are antagonistic to human rights. This column examines how WTO members have sought to promote human rights and trade, and what they have done when these obligations compete. It concludes that WTO rules are not antagonistic to human rights, though some members’ trade policy decisions have created conflicts.

Claude Barfield, 19 January 2009

This column says the WTO should suspend its formal negotiations for the next twelve months and attempt to head off a wave of protection in the interim. This would enhance the chances for the ultimate success of the Doha Round.

Jagdish Bhagwati, 09 January 2009

In this column Jagdish Bhagwati sounds the alarm on Obama’s eloquent silence on key trade issues and his failure to balance his protectionist appointments with powerful trade proponents that would produce a “team of rivals”. Multilateral free trade is being dangerously let down.

Joseph Francois, 17 December 2008

The worry about protectionism should not be centred on completing the Doha Round. This column suggests 80% of world trade is locked-in under legally binding tariffs and the real worry is that of excessive use of antidumping, countervailing duty, and safeguard protection, misguided public subsidies, rising protection in the poorest countries, and temptation in the US Congress to violate existing treaty commitments.

Richard Baldwin, Simon Evenett, 13 December 2008

Announcement that the WTO talks will not be put back on track this year – despite the G20’s November 15th commitment to do so – is the first concrete demonstration of the G20’s ineffectiveness. This column argues that the G20 should undertake a “Plan B” on world trade to restore G20 creditability and shore-up support for the WTO.

Simon Evenett, 12 December 2008

Simon Evenett of the University of St Gallen talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about the latest e-book in Vox’s ‘What leaders should do in the crisis’ series, focusing particularly on the prospects for completing the Doha Round of world trade negotiations in the light of the economic crisis. The interview was recorded on Tuesday 9 December 2008.

Richard Baldwin, Simon Evenett, 04 December 2008

VoxEU.org has just published another Ebook in our “What leaders should do in the Crisis” series; this one focuses on trade. Unless world leaders strengthen trade cooperation, new tariffs and competitive devaluations could trigger a protectionist spiral of WTO-consistent trade barriers. To rule this out, world leaders should: 1) Reduce protectionist pressures by fighting the recession with macroeconomic polices; 2) Translate APEC and G20 leaders’ words into deeds by agreeing a framework for concluding the Doha Round; and 3) Establish a real-time WTO/IMF surveillance mechanism to track new protection.

Peter Draper, 14 November 2008

This column suggests that South Africa should focus on four broad issues at the coming G20 Summit: supporting global growth, supporting regulatory reform and reconfiguring the IMF, supporting reform of Asian currency management practices, and underlining support for the Doha Round of WTO negotiations.

Jisun Kim, Gary Hufbauer, 17 October 2008

US climate change policy seems likely to include border measures to address competitiveness concerns. This column warns against such measures, arguing that they will do little to protect US industries, expose the US to retaliatory trade restrictions, and significantly burden the global trading system. The US would be better served by addressing its competitiveness concerns in international negotiations.

Patrick Messerlin, 03 October 2008

At the Global Economic Symposium in Schleswig-Holstein in September 2008, Patrick Messerlin of Sciences Po in Paris spoke at a session on reconsidering the international trading system. Afterwards, he talked to Romesh Vaitilingam about the key challenges facing the World Trade Organisation and potential solutions.

Robert Baldwin, 25 September 2008

WTO negotiations collapsed in July 2008 when India and the US could not agree on the details of a “special safeguard mechanism” in agriculture. The mechanism would allow developing countries to raise import duties on agricultural products in response to import surges without an injury test. Here one the world’s leading trade economists proposes a mechanism design that reconciles the US and Indian positions and could put Doha back on track.

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