Trade Organization (trade + organization)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Business, Economics, Finance and Accounting

Kinds of Trade Organization

  • world trade organization

  • Selected Abstracts

    Defining Accountability Up: the Global Economic Multilaterals

    Miles Kahler
    Critics of the global economic multilaterals (GEMs) , the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization , allege that these organizations fail the test of democratic accountability. Two distinct measures of democratic accountability have been applied to the GEMs. To the degree that these organizations display ,accountability deficits', those deficiencies are the result of choices by the most influential national governments. Three techniques have been deployed to enhance the accountability of the GEMs: transparency (more information for those outside the institution), competition (imitation of democratic accountability) and changes in rules of representation (accountability to stakeholders rather than shareholders). Each of these may impose costs, however, and may conflict with other valued aims of the organizations. [source]

    Doing "Development" at the World Trade Organization: The Doha Round and Special and Differential Treatment

    IDS BULLETIN, Issue 3 2003
    Claire Melamed
    First page of article [source]

    Doing "Development" at the World Trade Organization:

    IDS BULLETIN, Issue 2 2003
    Differential Treatment, Special, The Doha Round
    First page of article [source]

    Trade and Domestic Policy Linkage in International Agreements,

    Josh Ederington
    A central question in discussions of integrating negotiations over domestic policy (e.g., environmental policy or labor standards) into traditional trade agreements is the degree to which the trade policy and domestic policy provisions of an agreement should be explicitly linked. For example, should the World Trade Organization enforce domestic policy obligations with the threat of the suspension of trade concessions? This article considers the conditions under which linking trade and domestic policy agreements within a self-enforcing agreement is beneficial, and argues that the benefits of such policy linkage may be lower than is commonly thought. [source]

    How the WTO Matters to Industry: The Case of Scotch Whisky

    Andy Smith
    Although the World Trade Organization (WTO) has spawned a considerable academic literature, as yet research on this organization has rarely been problematized around clear theories of the relationship between law, economics, and politics. Building upon institutionalist premises and concepts drawn from political sociology and industrial economics, this article suggests a means of filling this gap by grasping the "political work" involved in the regulation of specific industries. Illustrated through the case of Scotch whisky, a focus is developed on how the WTO matters to contemporary industry. This reveals that the most powerful actors in industries such as Scotch have developed resources which legitimize their simultaneous engagement in a range of decision-making arenas. These include, but are not necessarily dominated by, the WTO. [source]

    The Power of the Chair: Formal Leadership in International Cooperation

    Jonas Tallberg
    This article addresses the influence wielded by the formal leaders of international cooperation,those state or supranational representatives that chair and direct negotiations in the major decision bodies of multilateral organizations and conferences. This is a topic that so far has received limited systematic attention by IR theorists, who have tended to treat bargaining parties as functionally and formally equivalent, leaving little theoretical space for formal leadership. Drawing on rational choice institutionalism, I introduce a theory that develops a coherent argument for the delegation of authority to the chairmanship, the power resources of negotiation chairs, and the influence of formal leaders over outcomes. I assess the explanatory power of this theory through evidence on formal leadership in three alternative organizational settings: the European Union, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/the World Trade Organization, and the United Nations environmental conferences. I find in favor of the chairmanship as a source of independent influence in international cooperation. Formal leaders perform functions of agenda management, brokerage, and representation that make it more likely for negotiations to succeed, and possess privileged resources that may enable them to steer negotiations toward the agreements they most prefer. [source]

    Breaking Deadlocks in International Institutional Negotiations: The WTO, Seattle, and Doha

    John S. Odell
    Negotiations among members of international institutions often stalemate yet the outcomes vary. Sometimes talks end in impasse and other times in agreement. Several familiar theories are unable to explain the contrast between two prominent outcomes in the World Trade Organization,its 1999 deadlock in Seattle and its 2001 agreement in Doha, Qatar, on an agenda for a new round. Extensive original evidence from these cases documents mechanisms that can tip the negotiation process between impasse and agreement in any institution, not only economic ones. The study illustrates benefits for international relations research of building on the relatively neglected tradition of negotiation analysis, a substantial part of which is outside political science. [source]

    How Americans Think About Trade: Reconciling Conflicts Among Money, Power, and Principles

    Richard K. Herrmann
    Trade has again emerged as a controversial issue in America, yet we know little about the ideas that guide American thinking on these questions. By combining traditional survey methods with experimental manipulation of problem content, this study explores the ideational landscape among elite Americans and pays particular attention to how elite Americans combine their ideas about commerce with their ideas about national security and social justice. We find that most American leaders think like intuitive neoclassical economists and that only a minority think along intuitive neorealist or Rawlsian lines. Among the mass public, in contrast, a majority make judgments like intuitive neorealists and intuitive Rawlsians. Although elite respondents see international institutions as promising vehicles in principle, in practice they favor exploiting America's advantage in bilateral bargaining power over granting authority to the World Trade Organization. The distribution of these ideas in America is not arrayed neatly along traditional ideological divisions. To understand the ideational landscape, it is necessary to identify how distinctive mentaal models,mercantilist, neorealist, egalitarian, and neoclassical economic,sensitize or desensitize people to particular aspects of geopolitical problems, an approach we call cognitive interactionism. [source]

    Comparative Advantage in Demand: Experimental Evidence of Preferences for Genetically Modified Food in the United States and European Union

    Jayson L. Lusk
    Q130; Q170; Q180; C190 Abstract The United States (US) exports more than US$6 billion in agricultural commodities to the European Union(EU) each year, but one issue carries the potential to diminish this trade: use of biotechnology in food production. The EU has adopted more stringent policies towards biotechnology than the US. Understanding differences in European and American policies towards genetically modified (GM) foods requires a greater understanding of consumers' attitudes and preferences. This paper reports results from the first large-scale, cross-Atlantic study to analyse consumer demand for genetically modified food in a non-hypothetical market environment. We strongly reject the frequent if convenient assumption in trade theory that consumer preferences are identical across countries: the median level of compensation demanded by English and French consumers to consume a GM food is found to be more than twice that in any of the US locations. Results have important implications for trade theory, which typically focuses on differences in specialization, comparative advantage and factor endowments across countries, and for on-going trade disputes at the World Trade Organization. [source]

    Morgan Stanley Panel Discussion on Seeking Growth in Emerging Markets: Spotlight on China

    Financial Decision Makers' Conference
    The treasurer of McDonald's discusses investment opportunities in China with Morgan Stanley's chief economist and its head of investment banking in China. The consensus is that the economic outlook for the country is strong, subject to some concerns about the currency, and that ongoing reforms are expected to bring about greater stability and productivity. Progress in raising Chinese banks to international capital adequacy standards, and imposing transparency and accounting requirements, has been particularly impressive. McDonald's first went to mainland China in the early 1990s. Thanks to its success in attracting suppliers and local financing and partners, it now has 600 restaurants and an ambitious expansion plan. For other U.S. and overseas companies, China's position as a global manufacturing center, its R&D capabilities, and its potential consumer market will lead to acquisitions of local companies, joint ventures, and other forms of direct investment. China's accession into the World Trade Organization has also opened a number of sectors that were previously restricted to foreign investors, including financial services. [source]

    Recent international and regulatory decisions about geographical indications

    Stephan Marette
    As worldwide consumer demand for high-quality products and for information about these products increases, labels and geographical indications (GIs) can serve to signal quality traits to consumers; however, GI systems among countries are not homogeneous and can be used as trade barriers against competition. Philosophical differences between the European Union (EU) and the United States about how GIs should be registered and protected led to the formation of a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute-settlement panel. In this article, we discuss the issues behind the dispute, the WTO panel decision, and the EU response to the panel decision leading to the new Regulation 510/2006. Given the potential for GI labels to supply consumer information, context is provided for the discussion using recent literature on product labeling. Implications are drawn regarding the importance of the panel decision and the EU response relative to GI issues yet to be negotiated under the Doha Round. [JEL classifications: D8, F1, Q1]. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

    Food regulation and trade under the WTO: ten years in perspective

    David Orden
    World Trade Organization; technical barriers; sanitary and phytosanitary regulations Abstract This article reviews the performance of the World Trade Organization in the oversight of national regulatory decisions affecting agricultural and food trade. A picture emerges of modest international disciplines on the regulatory decisions of sovereign nations and the need for ongoing improvements. A road map to regulations is presented and empirical assessments of the effects of technical regulation on trade are reviewed. Conflicts over sanitary and phytosanitary barriers raised in the relevant World Trade Organization committee are summarized and formal dispute settlement cases involving technical trade barriers are evaluated. Drawing on these reviews, suggestions are made for improving international food regulation. [source]

    Impacts of WTO restrictions on subsidized EU sugar exports

    Daneswar Poonyth
    Abstract The study evaluates the impact of World Trade Organization (WTO) restrictions on the European Union (EU) sugar sector and the world sugar market. A small reduction in production quotas would be sufficient to satisfy the export subsidy limitations of the Uruguay Round agreement. Complete elimination of export subsidies by 2005 would require either a 10% reduction in production quotas or the combination of an 8% reduction in quotas and an 11% reduction in intervention prices. Higher world prices resulting from reduced EU exports would result in increased production of unsubsidized C-sugar, with different impacts across EU member countries explained by differences in institutional pricing arrangements and marginal production costs. [source]

    China's WTO accession, state enterprise reform, and spatial economic restructuring

    Simon Xiaobin Zhao
    China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) promises to have profound effects on the development of the nation's economy and on nationwide enterprise reorganization. This paper attempts to address the relationship between China's WTO accession and state enterprise reforms, and their impacts on the performance of China's spatial economy, including the possible rise and fall of several large national financial centres, such as Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. It is argued that China's new international ties will enhance current enterprise reforms and promote changes in the existing pattern of enterprise organization, with enterprise mergers, acquisitions, takeover activity and the formation of large multinational corporations (MNCs) becoming dominant trends within China's industrial development. Alongside these changes, some economic sectors, such as information technology (IT) and advanced professional services are predicted to become concentrated in several national information ,heartlands,' each having its own well-developed information infrastructure and other comparative advantages over traditional industrial centers. Meanwhile traditional industrial enterprises, while continuing to rely upon their pre-assigned resource priorities, will certainly face fierce international competition in the turbulent global market. The spatial shift of production and trade undoubtedly requires that Chinese enterprises, especially those that are state-owned, reorganize their production-trade systems according to the global ,rules of the game'. All of these changes, due to take effect imminently with China's WTO accession, will fundamentally restructure China's spatial economic landscape, including the creation of a new information heartland and hinterland that will in turn determine the life or death of the country's national financial centres. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


    In the face of global uncertainties and a growing reliance on third-party indices to obtain a snapshot of a country's operational risks, we explore the related questions: How accurately do third-party indices capture a country's operational risk, and how does the operational risk of the country, in turn, affect the volume of its import and export supply chains? We examine these questions by empirically investigating 81 member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) using archival data collected from UN agencies, independent think tanks, the WTO, and the Economist Intelligence Unit. We use seven third-party indices to gauge a country's internal environment and map those indices to corresponding country-specific operational risks to further understand the consequent effects of those operational risks on trading volume. Results provide strong evidence for the use of certain third-party indices in assessing operational risk. In addition, operational risks are found to negatively affect the volume of import and export supply chains, albeit in varying degrees. [source]

    The Judicial Transformation of the State: The Case of U.S. Trade Policy, 1974,2004

    LAW & POLICY, Issue 1 2009
    The recent shift in state policies from Keynesianism to neoliberalism was accompanied by a transformation in state structures. The case of trade liberalization in the United States reveals that this structural transformation is of a judicial nature. In 1974, supporters of free trade successfully shifted authority over the management of protectionist claims from Congress to quasi-judicial bodies in the U.S. executive; in 1994, they successfully strengthened the dispute settlement mechanisms of the World Trade Organization. This judicial transformation indicates a shift from sites where decisions are made by way of political negotiations to sites where judges preside over legal disputes. In the article, I identify the political origins of these judicial transformations and discuss the factors that make judicial sites more favorable to neoliberal policies than political sites. [source]

    Learning to Dispute: Repeat Participation, Expertise, and Reputation at the World Trade Organization

    LAW & SOCIAL INQUIRY, Issue 3 2010
    Joseph A. Conti
    This mixed-method analysis examines the effects of repeat participation on disputing at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Differences between disputants in terms of their experience with WTO disputing processes affect the likelihood of a dispute transitioning to a panel review in distinct ways, depending upon the configuration of the parties. More experienced complainants tend to achieve settlements, while more experienced respondents tend to refuse conciliation. Strategies of experienced respondents are derived from the expertise generated from repeated direct participation and the normalcy of disputing for repeat players as well as the benefits accruing from a reputation for being unlikely to settle. Repeat players also seek to avoid disputes expected to produce unfavorable jurisprudence but do not actively try to create new case law through the selection of disputes. This research demonstrates a dynamic learning process in how parties use international legal forums and thus extends sociolegal scholarship beyond the nation-state. [source]

    Industrial energy policy: a case study of demand in Kuwait

    OPEC ENERGY REVIEW, Issue 2 2006
    M. Nagy Eltony
    The purpose behind building the industrial energy demand model was to enable assessment of the impact of potential policy options and to forecast future energy demand under various assumptions, including the impact of the possible removal of energy subsidies in accordance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement. The results of the model, based on three scenarios, underline several important issues: With nominal energy prices staying the same (the status quo) and with inflation and economic growth continuing to expand (i.e. baseline scenario), it is expected that industrial demand will grow. In this sector, energy consumption is projected to grow at an annual growth rate of about 3.5 per cent throughout the forecast period. In the moderate scenario, however, this drops to 1.9 per cent and when all energy subsidies are removed as in the case of the extreme scenario, the energy consumption is projected to grow by only 1.5 per cent annually throughout the same period. Moreover, with regards to inter-fuel substitution, the model forecast indicates that electricity and natural gas consumption will decline, while the consumption of oil products will increase in all scenarios. The results of the model also indicate that the changing price structure of energy resources should be done in a comprehensive manner. In other words, electricity prices should be adjusted upwards instantly with the adjustment of oil products' prices and natural gas otherwise, a massive inter-fuel substitution will occur within the various consuming industries. [source]


    Terrie L. Walmsley
    More recently, with China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) a reality, FDI has once again picked up. This paper explores the linkage between WTO accession and investment in China. We find that investment and capital stocks increase substantially. Moreover, foreign ownership of Chinese assets doubles by 2020. Central to this increase is the expected catch-up in the productivity of the services sectors driven by reforms. These estimates are far larger than those predicted by earlier studies, which ignored the reforms affecting Chinese services sectors, and abstracted from international capital mobility. [source]

    The World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization: On the Cross-Border Movement of People

    Article first published online: 4 APR 200
    The globalization of the world economy can be measured in terms of increases in international trade, greater levels of foreign investment and technology transfers, and the liberalization of financial markets. Accompanying and facilitating these trends have been institutional innovations and reforms, creating regimes under which international economic relationships can be managed and disputes resolved. The role of the World Trade Organization is an evident case in point. The rising scale of international migration can also be seen as a globalizing trend. Here, however, with the exception of the special case of refugees, there is no governance regime in place or in prospect at the international level. Occasional past efforts by UN agencies to stimulate formal discussion of what such a regime might look like have led nowhere: countries are simply unwilling to contemplate any weakening of their sovereign right to control entry. Proposing how to fill this perceived lacuna in the international system is one of the tasks on the agenda of the Global Commission on International Migration. The Commission, an independent body set up in 2003 by a small group of UN member states, plans to present a report to the UN Secretary-General in mid-2005. In the meantime, the subject has been explored by another group,the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization. This commission was set up by the International Labour Office in 2002. It was co-chaired by Tarja Halonen, president of Finland, and Benjamin William Mkapa, president of Tanzania. Its 24 other members included economists (among them Deepak Nayyar, Hernando de Soto, and Joseph Stiglitz), politicians, and business and labor leaders, as well as a number of ex-officio ILO representatives. After several meetings and an extensive series of consultations held during 2002 and 2003, its report, A Fair Globalization: Creating Opportunities for All, was issued in February 2004. The report argues that the benefits of globalization must be more equitably distributed. To this end, the globalizing trends in the world economy should be matched by similar advances in social and political institutions. One of the features of the existing imbalance is that "goods and capital move much more freely across borders than people do." In addition to the many other recommendations the Commission has for what it terms the governance of globalization are proposals on the management of international migration. "Fair rules for trade and capital," the Commission argues, "need to be complemented by fair rules for the movement of people." The long-run objective should be "a multilateral framework for immigration laws and consular practices,,,that would govern cross-border movement of people," paralleling "the multilateral frameworks that already exist, or are currently under discussion, concerning the cross-border movement of goods, services, technology, investment and information." The Commission's thinking on migration is in some respects reminiscent of the views of the ILO's first director, Albert Thomas, in the days of the League of Nations. Writing in 1927, Thomas envisioned, if only as a distant ideal, "some sort of supreme supernational authority which would regulate the distribution of population on rational and impartial lines, by controlling and directing migration movements and deciding on the opening-up or closing of countries to particular streams of immigration." (See the Archives section of PDR 9, no. 4.) The excerpt below consists of §428,§446 of the report, a section titled The cross-border movement of people. [source]

    China,Intellectual Property Rights: Implications for the TRIPS-Plus Border Measures

    Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan
    One of the ground-breaking features of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is its part III on the enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights. In early 2009, the first WTO Dispute Settlement Panel Report primarily addressed obligations on IP enforcement. Here, the technical success of the US border measures claim comes with a crucial limitation: those Chinese measures that cover basically all of the commercially relevant activity are ab initio excluded from the panel's findings. Because they go beyond the minimum standards of TRIPS, the panel relied on one of the few TRIPS provisions that specify the relevance of TRIPS for additional "TRIPS-Plus" IP protection and enforcement. Given that such "TRIPS-Plus" measures are increasingly common in national laws and international treaties, it is time to take a closer look at how TRIPS addresses TRIPS-Plus IP protection. With a focus on border measures, I conclude that TRIPS contains not only minimum but also maximum standards or "ceilings" that impose limits on additional IP protection and enforcement. Such ceilings in TRIPS can function as limits for further extensions of IP protection and enforcement,as currently negotiated under a proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement or relating to border measures against generic drugs in transit. [source]

    Recent Developments in India's Plant Variety Protection, Seed Regulation and Linkages with UPOV's Proposed Membership

    Prabhash Ranjan
    The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights of the World Trade Organization imposes an obligation on all member countries to protect plant varieties either by patents or by a sui generis regime or by a combination of both. India explored the sui generis option to provide protection to plant varieties. This legal regime recognizes the rights of commercial breeders and also grants a positive right to farmers and goes beyond the widely recognized international sui generis regime represented by the International Union for the Protection of Plant Varieties (UPOV). Notwithstanding this, India has made an application to join UPOV. However, with the present plant variety law, India's membership application to join UPOV may not be successful. The recent development of bringing the Seeds Bill, which dilutes farmers' rights provisions in the plant variety law, is important in this regard. The article argues that if the Seeds Bill is passed in its present form, it will dilute the beneficial provisions of the plant variety law and pave the way for India to join UPOV. [source]

    Does Plant Variety Protection Contribute to Crop Productivity?

    Lessons for Developing Countries from US Wheat Breeding
    The application of intellectual property rights (IP) in developing countries is and remains highly controversial, particularly as regards applications to food/agriculture, and pharmaceuticals, which have direct ramifications for large numbers of peoples. One dimension complicating a reasoned dialogue on the public benefits of IP, particularly when many developing countries are implementing the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) as mandated by membership in the World Trade Organization, is a dearth of information on their actual operation and effects. In this study, we address one particular aspect of the limited documentation on the effects of IP systems, the effect of plant variety protection (PVP) on the genetic productivity potential of varieties. Specifically, we examine wheat varieties in Washington State, United States, which are produced by both public and private sector breeders. Results from the study show that implementation of PVP attracted private investment in open pollinated crops such as wheat in the United States and provided greater numbers of varieties of these crops, which are high yielding from both the public and private sectors. These results may provide some insights for policy makers from developing countries on the effects of IP for plants as their TRIPS commitments are being implemented. [source]

    TRIPS-Plus Implications for Access to Medicines in Developing Countries: Lessons from Jordan,United States Free Trade Agreement

    Hamed El-Said
    Since the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995 and implementation of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) as a result, the United States (US) sought to impose still higher levels of intellectual property rights on developing countries, a phenomenon that is commonly known today as TRIPS-Plus. The Jordan,US FTA, signed in 2001, contains several TRIPS-Plus rules that restrict the poor's access to medicines, and is today touted by US officials and the US Trade Representative (USTR) as a success, and providing a wide range of benefits. These benefits not only include a higher growth rate, but also more specific benefits to the pharmaceutical sector in particular, such as an improved ability to develop generic medicine and engage in new innovative research, as well as increasing the presence of and collaboration with multinational drug makers. This article analyzes in detail the TRIPS-Plus provisions of the Jordan,US FTA. It challenges the claims that the FTA brings general and specific benefits to developing countries, and provides fresh evidence which strongly suggests that benefits from the Jordan,US FTA have been largely exaggerated while the costs underestimated. [source]

    A New Dispute Concerning the TRIPS Agreement: The United States and China in the WTO

    Alpana Roy
    On 10 April 2007, the United States filed a complaint against China in the dispute settlement body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) with respect to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. The United States has requested "consultations" with China on four separate matters: the threshold requirements for criminal procedures and penalties in Chinese law; the disposal of goods confiscated by Chinese customs authorities that infringe intellectual property rights; the issue of copyright and related rights protection for works that have not been authorized for publication or distribution within China; and the unavailability of criminal procedures and penalties for persons engaged in unauthorized reproduction or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works. Despite widespread allegations of intellectual property piracy, this is the first official complaint that has been lodged against China in the WTO with respect to its obligations under the TRIPS Agreement. While consultations with China have been requested, no dispute settlement panel has been established with respect to the complaint. This note will outline the complaint against China in more detail. [source]

    Basmati Rice: Geographical Indication or Mis-Indication

    Harsh V. Chandola
    Indian farmers may not understand the Lockean or the Hegelian justification for intellectual property. Neither do they understand the politics (realpolitik) of the negotiations of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Many of them had no idea that in September 2003 their fate might have been decided in the Cancun Ministerial meeting of World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries. But they do understand simple economics, i.e. if the American company which has registered a patent for basmati rice continues to sell rice as American-style basmati rice, it may hurt their exports. If the Indian Government had a key to the past, they would have definitely renegotiated-TRIPS to protect $350 million export market of basmati rice. Even if we opprobrium TRIPS and characterize it as an instrument of exploitation used by developed countries to protect their own interest, the fact of the matter is, there is no escape from it. Withdrawing from TRIPS entails too many implications for the Indian economy, and it would be cynical to suggest such an idea. Developing and least developed countries have fallen to the economic and political pressure of the Developed countries, and the former group of countries will never be able to convince the latter to renegotiate TRIPS to bring a balance to it, even if their call is eloquent, justified and reflects reality. It would be like knocking on the lid of a coffin: knock, as much as you like, you will not wake him. Post-Cancun (WTO Ministerial Meeting), it is vital for the Indian Government to formulate strategies to protect its interest in TRIPS. The strategy should focus on the options available within the TRIPS framework. We might have lost advantage in the field of patents to western pharmaceutical companies, but if a proper strategy is formulated we will be able to protect our basmati exports. [source]

    Hedging Hopes with Fears in China's Accession to the World Trade Organization

    The Transitional Special-Product Safeguard for Chinese Exports
    First page of article [source]

    Free Trade Agreements and the Prospects for Regional Integration in East Asia

    Razeen SALLY
    Trade policy in East Asia has switched from non-discriminatory unilateral liberalization, reinforced by General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization (GATT/WTO) commitments, to discriminatory free trade agreements (FTA). The paper surveys the FTA activity of the major regional players: China, the ASEAN countries, Japan, and South Korea. It concludes that emerging FTAs are weak and partial. A hub-and-spoke pattern of dirty FTAs will not drive regional economic integration or further integration with the global economy. Rather, it could be a force of regional economic disintegration , especially if the multilateral trading system weakens further. At the same time, FTA activity is distracting attention from the WTO, and, more fundamentally, from unilateral liberalization and domestic structural reforms. Hence, East Asian trade policies need to be rebalanced, with better-quality FTAs and more focus on the WTO. However, more important than the WTO and FTAs is a fresh spurt of unilateral liberalization and structural reform outside trade negotiations. [source]

    The ,Enfant Terrible': Australia and the Reconstruction of the Multilateral Trade system, 1946,8

    Ann Capling
    In recent years Australia has been recognized as a prominent player in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and its successor, the World Trade Organization (WTO). Less well known is Australia's activism during the establishment of the GATT. This article, based on archival sources and contemporary accounts, examines Australia's role in the birth of the multilateral trade system. It seeks to nuance the two conventional interpretations of this period, the first which argues that countries joined the GATT because it was in their economic interests to do so, and the second which suggests that the United States hegemony imposed its trade liberalization objectives on less powerful allies and trade partners. [source]

    What is New in Protectionism?

    Captives, Consumers, Cranks
    The most contentious international trade issues currently arise not from traditional producer requests for protection, but as a result of consumers and other economic agents asking governments to erect trade barriers. The economic model that underpins multilateral trade policy,as manifest in World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements,only predicts that firms will lobby for protection, with no provisions for how governments faced with requests for protection from other groups can respond. Consequently, governments have been forced to defend the imposition of trade barriers using spurious justifications; the WTO dispute mechanism has largely dismissed these justifications, and consumers (and others) feel disenfranchised. The result has been a loss of credibility for the WTO and sometimes its demonization. The WTO needs to change but a new economic model must also be developed to deal with a broader spectrum of protectionist interests. À l'heure actuelle, les questions de commerce international les plus litigieuses ne sont pas alimentées par des producteurs traditionnels qui demandent des mesures protectionnistes, mais plutôt par des consommateurs et d'autres agents économiques qui demandent que les États érigent des barrières commerciales. Le modèle économique à la base de la politique commerciale multilatérale , manifeste dans les accords de l'Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC) , prévoit seulement que les entreprises exerceront des pressions protectionnistes, sans disposition sur la réaction possible des États qui sont confrontés à des demandes de protectionnisme provenant d'autres groupes. En conséquence, les États ont été forcés de défendre l'imposition de barrières commerciales en utilisant de fausses justifications. Le mécanisme de règlement des différends de l'OMC a en grande partie rejeté ces justifications, et les consommateurs (et autres agents économiques) se sentent privés de leurs droits. L'OMC a ainsi perdu de sa crédibilité et est parfois diabolisée. L'OMC doit être revue, mais il faut également élaborer un nouveau modèle économique pour tenir compte d'un large éventail d'intérêts protectionnistes. [source]