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Symposium 2014

Shaping a Free and Fair World Trade Order

The Challenge

Regional trade agreements have increased dramatically over the last twenty years. Since 1995, the founding year of the World Trade Organization (WTO), more than 400 regional trade agreements have been registered under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). In the previous 45 years, only 124 regional trade agreements were registered. Moreover, recent initiatives like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) aim to go far beyond the size and depth of traditional trade agreements. By taking on contested issues such as government procurement and private litigation, they form a new generation of trade agreements. As a result, a patchwork of regional free trade zones has emerged, which calls into question the multilateral trade regime under the auspice of the WTO and its languishing Doha Development Round (DDR) This trend has important distributional and political ramifications. Due to their comprehensiveness, the planned regional free trade agreements potentially offer immense benefits for the participating economies. However, the resulting trade diversion effects are detrimental to non-participating countries. As rich economies are more likely to profit from trade than developing ones, the divide between the two will probably grow. Consequently, there may be a potential shift in the balance of power in the global economy that could systematically discriminate against mostly southern, developing nations.

How can a fair world trade order be restructured in an era of bilateral free trade agreements to make sure the south is not put at a systematic disadvantage? How can regional initiatives and integration efforts be “domesticated” (Richard Senti) to have them support the multilateral process rather than hinder it? How should the WTO be reformed in order to accompany this process in a compatible and complementary way? Which actors and procedures are key in shaping this process in a legitimate way?

This session is organized in cooperation with Bertelsmann Stiftung.

    Proposals

    Proposal
    Symposium 2014

    Making preferential trade agreements advantageous to as many outsiders as possible

    The WTO should generally forbid rules of origin in preferential trade agreements! Many rich countries are currently in the process of negotiating preferential trade agreements (PTAs) amongst each othe ...

    The WTO should generally forbid rules of origin in preferential trade agreements! Many rich countries are currently in the process of negotiating preferential trade agreements (PTAs) amongst each other. At present, the main initiatives are the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US, the comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada, the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) agreement which would involve, amongst others, the Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore and the US, and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), a plurilateral framework focused on the services industry. These agreements have in common (i) that

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2014

    Shaping a Free and Fair World Trade Order – A solution to a mis-specified challenge.

    The challenge for this session is based on a mis-reading of today’s regionalism realities. The challenge posed asserts: “Due to their comprehensiveness, the planned regional free trade agreements ...

    The challenge for this session is based on a mis-reading of today’s regionalism realities. The challenge posed asserts: “Due to their comprehensiveness, the planned regional free trade agreements potentially offer immense benefits for the participating economies. However, the resulting trade diversion effects are detrimental to non-participating countries. As rich economies are more likely to profit from trade than developing ones, the divide between the two will probably grow. Consequently, there may be a potential shift in the balance of power in the global economy that could systematically discriminate against mostly southern, developing nations.” Rethinking regionalism: Impulsion to conform There are

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society

    Background Paper

    Background Paper
    Symposium 2014

    Shaping a Free and Fair World Trade Order

    Looking at the last two decades, we can observe an economic phenomenon that will have a unique and essential impact on the way we internationally trade and do business in the future. Since 1995, the f ...

    Looking at the last two decades, we can observe an economic phenomenon that will have a unique and essential impact on the way we internationally trade and do business in the future. Since 1995, the founding year of the World Trade Organization (WTO), more than 400 regional trade agreements have been registered under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), up from only 124 from 1948 to 1994. This trend has particularly escalated within the last 10 years after the failure of the Doha development round. Those new agreements include Tariff Agreements (TAs) – like Customs Unions (CUs) and Free-Trade Areas (FTAs) – as well as a growing number of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). They form a new generation of agreements because they go beyond traditional trade negotiation issues like tariff reduction and market access for goods, and instead aim to create broader and deeper market integration in particular by reducing nontariff trade barriers.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society

    Virtual Library

    Virtual Library File
    Symposium 2014

    Multilateralising 21st Century Regionalism

    The multilateralisation of regionalism takes different forms when applied to deep versus shallow regional trade agreements (RTAs). Shallow agreements focus on discriminatory tariffs; henc e, multilate ...

    The multilateralisation of regionalism takes different forms when applied to deep versus shallow regional trade agreements (RTAs). Shallow agreements focus on discriminatory tariffs; henc e, multilateralisation strives mainly to reduce discrimination. Deep agreements focus on the disciplines necessary to foster international production sharing; key provisions often resembling unilateral liberalisations that just happen to be bound by an RTA . In this case, multilateralisation achieves network externalities and solves co - ordination problems. This paper suggests a novel framework for thinking about the costs and benefits of multilateralising the provisions in deep RTAs, including those that see m set to appear in the Trans - Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans - Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).