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15445 Issued in October 2009 NBER Program(s): International Trade and Investment We consider the purpose and design of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its predecessor, GATT.
Having played a crucial role in shaping the global trade system since the end of the Second World War, the US under the presidency of Donald Trump will no longer take the lead in pressing for new free-trade agreements and multilateral trade rules.
However, the global trade system, and the US’s role in it, was in trouble before Trump’s victory, as scepticism of free-trade agreements grew, despite a largely positive view of free trade as a concept.
The aim of this short report is intended for a non-specialist audience and attempts to spell out in layperson’s terms what such an outcome would mean.
We have deliberately not attempted any economic modelling – much of this has already been done elsewhere, including by us.
The paper suggests that the Nairobi Ministerial has finally put an end to the Doha Round and comes to the conclusion that policymaking at the multilateral level (i.e.
through the single undertaking) will change significantly in the future because the WTO Members are incapable of reaching a comprehensive agreement at this time. https://doi.org/10.1108/JITLP-01-2017-0001 Download as .
Choe used that research to examine the historical tension between the competing interests of trade vs.
environment and concluded with original proposals of how to reconcile them within the WTO’s legal framework.
Another, opposite approach consists of examining the subject explicitly targeted by that mandate to study how it has evolved.
This method captures the impact or relevance of the agreements and actions resulting from a multilateral institution’s mandate without being institution-centric in the analysis.