Challenges to the Multilateral Trading System: The Rising Trade Protectionism Amid the Global Economic Recession

14 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2009

See all articles by Stanislav Bucifal

Stanislav Bucifal

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Date Written: October 26, 2009

Abstract

Since the end of WWII, significant progress has been made on the road the liberalisation of global trade. The establishment of a rule-based multilateral trading system administered by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has been an important part of this process. Yet trade-restricting national policies continue to flourish. The global economic recession has introduced new threats to international trade and highlighted the challenges facing the multilateral trading system.

This paper explores three of those challenges. The first is the expanding scope of protectionism implied by the policy response of governments to the global economic downturn. The second is the immediate task facing the WTO of completing Doha Round negotiations and ensuring the effectiveness of existing multilateral trade disciplines. And the third is the vulnerability of global trade to the unilateral policy decisions of the U.S. and its relationships with other major economies, particularly China and the EU. The paper is organised in three sections - one section for each of the three challenges.

Keywords: Trade protectionism, Mulilateral trade, International trade, Trading system, WTO, Global recession, Industry assistance, Government bailout

JEL Classification: E62, F02, F15, F17, F21, F42, H30, H87

Suggested Citation

Bucifal, Stanislav, Challenges to the Multilateral Trading System: The Rising Trade Protectionism Amid the Global Economic Recession (October 26, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1494805 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1494805

Stanislav Bucifal (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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