New Trade Politics for the 21st Century
Posted: 1 Sep 2008
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.
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