Pascal Lamy, 18 December 2013

The emergence of intra-firm trade as the primary component of international trade reflects a global interdependence in the production process. In this column the former Director-General of the WTO argues that this necessitates a re-examination of how we think about – and how we measure – trade between nations. Interdependence allows different sectors to add value, and complicates the implementation of trade barriers. Only with a modern perspective can effective trade policy be conducted.

Richard Baldwin, 12 December 2013

The WTO signed a mini-package of trade initiatives in Bali last week. This column argues that the ‘Bali package’ is welcome but not enough. Without some new initiative or direction, the WTO looks set to drift for the next few years. The WTO cannot move ahead until the trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic ‘mega-regionals’ are done or dead. In the meantime, the WTO should promote research and discussion on how 21st-century trade issues could be brought into the WTO when the time is ripe.

Matthias Helble, Ganeshan Wignaraja, 13 November 2013

Intensifying negotiations leading to the December WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali have renewed optimism for concluding the beleaguered Doha Round and boosting Asia’s trade. Agreement in Bali on tariff-quota administration, trade facilitation, and food security would improve the prospects for a Doha deal and WTO credibility. Failure at Bali, however, would spur the rise of mega-regional trade agreements – to the detriment of countries outside these agreements.

Gary Hufbauer, Kati Suominen, 13 October 2010

The global crisis has rocked people’s faith in globalisation. This column introduces a new book arguing that, despite taking a step back, globalisation is one of the most travelled routes the world has known for spreading growth and prosperity. It provides policy recommendations for renovating that road dealing with the WTO, social security, global imbalances, and foreign direct investment.

Robert Lawrence, Gary Hufbauer, 06 July 2010

Originally scheduled to end in 2005, Doha negotiations have dragged into their ninth year. This column argues that, while many observers assign blame to the complexity of 153 members reaching a consensus, the heart of the matter is far simpler. It says that if the US and China come up with new offers, the momentum for a speedy agreement will be unstoppable.

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.

Arvind Subramanian, 14 November 2008

The financial crisis affords India an opportunity to punch above its current economic weight. This column urges India to support globally coordinated actions to help limit the economic downturn. Most importantly, India should call for a strong political commitment by all countries to keep markets open and refrain from taking protectionist action.

Thomas Hertel, Roman Keeney, L Alan Winters, 22 October 2007

Following their suspension in mid- 2006, and their resuscitation in early 2007, the multilateral trade negotiations of the WTO’s Doha Development Agenda appear once more to be on the brink of collapse. Several reasons have been advanced for their lack of success; high on everyone’s list is the central role of agriculture. We ask why a sector that contributes so little to rich countries’ GDP should be able to sabotage global economy-wide trade talks.

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