New Trade Politics for the 21st Century

Posted: 1 Sep 2008

See all articles by Joost Pauwelyn

Joost Pauwelyn

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID); Georgetown University Law Centre

Date Written: September 2008


Once the Doha Round is concluded, or officially dead, the time will be ripe for a long term reflection on the future of the world trading system. The world has changed dramatically since the GATT's creation in 1947. Yet, 60 years later, the WTO has not adapted itself to these changes. Although commentators tend to focus on internal changes and reforms, most importantly are the external, real world changes that took place in the last 60 years. These changes range from historically low tariffs, an increased financial integration between countries, more diversification in world trade shares and proliferation of preferential trade agreements, to the unbundling of the production chain, the prevalence of unilateral trade liberalization, the emergence of new flanking policies and, crucially, a shift in the forces opposing free trade. These external shocks and changes are already leading to, and require, a ‘new trade politics’, both within countries and at the international level.

Suggested Citation

Pauwelyn, Joost, New Trade Politics for the 21st Century (September 2008). Journal of International Economic Law, Vol. 11, Issue 3, pp. 559-573, 2008, Available at SSRN: or

Joost Pauwelyn (Contact Author)

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

PO Box 136
Geneva, Geneva CH-1211


Georgetown University Law Centre ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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