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Bolstering Global Trade: Governance A Work Program for the WTO presented by the High-Level Board of Experts on the Future of Global Trade Governance

Hoekman, Bernard and Schuman, Robert (2017) Bolstering Global Trade: Governance A Work Program for the WTO presented by the High-Level Board of Experts on the Future of Global Trade Governance. UNSPECIFIED.

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    The WTO provides the foundation of the rules-based global trading system that has played a critical role in sup- porting growth in global GDP during recent decades. Preserving the salience of the WTO is vital in managing the adjustment pressures from globalization and sustaining the cooperation needed to govern trade relations in a world in which the transformation towards a global digital economy and associated servicification of production creates new policy challenges. Efforts to address these challenges are stymied by disagreements between WTO members regarding the priorities for the multilateral trading system. These disagreements reflect differences in views on the extent to which national policies have adverse international effects and the costs and benefits of ne- gotiating additional trade policy rules. The result has been to impede progress on rule-making for both long- standing core policies of concern to many WTO members (e.g., agriculture) as well as new policy areas. Matters have been compounded by dissatisfaction by some Members regarding the functioning of the WTO dispute set- tlement body and transparency mechanisms. While preferential trade agreements are important complementary vehicles for countries to pursue deeper coop- eration on trade policy matters than has been possible in the WTO, such initiatives depend on the strong foundation of basic rules provided by the WTO. Moreover, they only offer partial solutions – many of the emerging policy areas of concern to business and civil society call for multilateral cooperation. Re-vitalizing such coopera- tion does not require major changes in the organization. What is needed is willingness to engage in candid, substantive discussion of perceived problems and possible solutions. The recent Agreement on Trade Facilitation, with its positive approach to addressing development concerns, and the success of Members in incrementally deepening cooperation on some matters under the purview of some WTO agreements – e.g., addressing specific trade concerns arising from proposed new product regulations – show that WTO Members can innovate and agree to common approaches towards trade policies while recogniz- ing differences in social preferences and national circumstances.

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    Item Type: Other
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > economic and financial affairs > trade policy
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Bertelsmann Stiftung/Foundation (Gutersloh, Germany) > Studies
    Depositing User: Daniel Pennell
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 08 May 2020 09:56
    Number of Pages: 20
    Last Modified: 08 May 2020 09:56

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