Petros C. Mavroidis, André Sapir, 30 April 2021

The ability of the WTO to shape the way China conducts its trade policy has been severely limited, and most attempts to leverage multilateral pressure have so far failed. This third in a series of three columns explores how the relationship could be reformed and improved going forward. The authors highlight the need for clearer guidelines on state-owned enterprises, as well as new rules surrounding the transfer of technology between signatories.


You are cordially invited to "The Global Commons Room" - a webinar on:

Reforming the Global Institutions: The case of WTO

Join us on Friday 9 October 2020
13:00 - 14:30 (BST, London), 14:00 - 15:30 (CEST)

The ongoing selection process for the new Director General of the WTO has prompted renewed focus on reforming that institution and also provides an opportunity to rethink the reform of global institutions more broadly. This panel of policy makers, academics and practitioners will discuss the key directions for change to make the WTO and other global institutions more fit for purpose.


  • Marek Belka, Member of Parliament, European Union, and former Deputy Prime Minister and Governor of the National Bank of Poland.
  • Jonathan Fried, former Canadian Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • Hector Torres, former Executive Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF).


  • Piroska Nagy Mohacsi, Interim Director, Institute of Global Affairs at the LSE School of Public Policy.


  • Erik Berglof, Chief Economist, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); Professor (on leave), LSE School of Public Policy and Fellow, CEPR. 

Register online

Matteo Fiorini, Bernard Hoekman, Petros C. Mavroidis, Douglas Nelson, Robert Wolfe, 09 July 2020

The WTO membership faces many challenges, ranging from substantive rulemaking on policies generating trade conflicts to revitalising the multilateral dispute settlement system. This column reports on the results of a recent survey of the trade community regarding the priorities confronting the next WTO Director-General. There is a substantial degree of commonality in rank orderings of substantive issues for negotiation, institutional reform, and daily operations of the WTO, but underlying this are significant differences in rankings of issues and options across groups of respondents. Resolving the dispute settlement crisis is a clear priority for most respondents, especially government officials. 

CEPR Policy Research