Chad Bown, 19 June 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.

Bernard Hoekman, 19 June 2010

The world is emerging from a severe global economic crisis. This column argues that maintaining an open trade regime is an important foundation for global recovery and the necessary reorientation of global supply and demand. This is especially true for developing countries as so many depend on export markets to finance growth-stimulating imports of goods, services, and technologies.

Richard Baldwin, 05 June 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, 17 October 2018

The WTO is in a funk – unable to conclude the Doha Round even as its members liberalise unilaterally and regionally. This column, first published in June 2010, 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.

Robert Baldwin, 17 May 2010

Since the end of the Second World War, the US has been the world leader in promoting the reduction of trade barriers and establishing international trading rules. This column argues that by remaining on the sidelines of the Doha Round negotiations, the US risks losing influence over how important international economic matters are decided. This loss of economic influence will be followed by a loss of political influence.

Gary Hufbauer, Jeffrey Schott , Woan Wong, 22 February 2010

Fears of protectionism have risen in the wake of the global financial crisis. This column argues that, far from being time to abandon the Doha Round, sustaining political support for the rules-based multilateral trade system is more important than ever. If this column’s recommendations are followed, world GDP could gain up to $282.7 billion a year.

Robert Baldwin, 15 December 2009

It is clear from the recent WTO ministerial meeting in Geneva that a successful conclusion to the Doha Round is a long way off. But long stoppages have been commonplace in earlier liberalisation efforts. This column outlines some of these delays in an effort to better understand the current standstill.

Léonce Ndikumana, Tonia Kandiero, 27 November 2009

The trade collapse hit Africa hard, particularly its exporters of natural resources and manufactured goods. As commodity prices have started to recover, so has African trade. This chapter recommends concluding the Doha round of WTO negotiations and investing in Aid for Trade initiatives to make the revival sustainable and support developing economies’ long-term interests.

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.

Patrick Messerlin, Erik van der Marel, 30 July 2009

Opening protected services markets would deliver large benefits to consumers – business, communication, and distribution services in the EC, US, and eight other economies represent almost one-third of world GDP. This column suggests the US and EC should launch transatlantic negotiations in services that would trigger plurilateral negotiations.

David Laborde, Antoine Bouët, 14 May 2009

The current financial crisis has fostered a demand for protectionism and put the Doha Round at the back of the agenda. This column argues that a failed Doha Development Agenda would send the wrong signal in terms of global governance and could lead to an unravelling of the past 15 years of trade liberalisation.

Claude Barfield, 11 April 2009

The US is doing little to further the Doha round of WTO negotiations. Has the Obama administration merely had its hands full with other issues in its early days? This column says that the neglect is intentional – US politics have shifted against trade and the administration has acted in ways that might jettison the current negotiations.

Robert Baldwin, 11 March 2009

The WTO talks broke down last year over a highly technical issue – the Special Safeguard Mechanism in agriculture. This column highlights a flaw in the proposed mechanism. It also argues that fear of a retaliatory process in today’s recessionary climate should drive leading developed and developing trading countries to negotiate new rules aimed at preventing such an outcome. Within this larger framework, the technical sticking points holding up Doha negotiations may be settled quickly.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Axel Dreher, Stephan Klasen, Andreas Fuchs, Jan-Egbert Sturm, 29 October 2008

With the world slipping into a recession of unknown magnitude, protectionist temptations appear across the globe. This column argues that finishing the Doha Round WTO negotiations would both provide a boost to the world economy and send a strong signal that beggar-thy-neighbour policies are not on the table this time.

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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