WTO 체재 개혁과 한국의 다자통상정책 방향 (Reshaping the Multilateral Trade Policy for Korea)

230 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2019

See all articles by Jin Kyo Suh

Jin Kyo Suh

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy

Jong Duk Kim

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy

Ji Hyun Park

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy

Min-Sung Kim

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy

Dukgeun Ahn

Seoul National University

Date Written: December 31, 2018

Abstract

Korean Abstract: 최근 선진국 주도로 WTO 체재 개혁이 구체적으로 논의되고 있다. 이러한 WTO 체제 개혁 이면에는 글로벌 가치사슬의 확산, 세계 무역의 급속한 디지털화, 포용적 무역의 확산 등 글로벌 통상환경의 변화에 적절히 대응하지 못하고 있다는 WTO 자체의 문제점도 있지만 이와 함께 중국을 겨냥하여 과잉생산을 유발하는 산어보조금 및 국영기업의 불공정 행위에 대해 WTO 규정으로 귲하려는 선진국들의 의도도 내포되어 있다. 이에 본 연구보고서는 우리나라 입장에서 WTO 체제 개혁 논의에 대한 의제별 협상대응방안과 함께 글로벌 통상환경의 변화를 고려한 중장기 다자통상정책의 새로운 방향을 제시하였다.

English Abstract: The World Trade Organization (WTO), launched in 1995 as a successor of the GATT system, has ambitiously begun its first multilateral trade negotiation round, Doha Development Agenda (DDA) in 2001. Since then, notwithstanding with its great ambition, the DDA has failed to draw visible results for more than 17 years, and hence confidence in the WTO-centered multilateral trading system has been declining accordingly. Nevertheless, there are some of the accomplishments of the WTO. The liberalization of the commodity markets has expanded and deepened through the conclusions of plurilateral negotiations under the WTO such as the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), and rules in service and intellectual property rights have been set-out and established. As a result of these achievements, the volume of global commodity trade has increased by more than three times, and the market share of developing countries has also increased from 28% in 1995 to 43% in 2017. The expansion of the number of member states is another achievement of the WTO. Although such expansion may have increased the difficulties and complexity of decision making in the WTO, it is clear that the expansion of new business opportunities by successfully incorporating developing countries into the global economy and applying unified WTO rules and standards is an achievement of the WTO. Along with the strengthening of the dispute settlement system, the Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) and its implementation are the greatest achievements of the WTO system. The Trade Facilitation Agreement is the first multilateral trade agreement concluded after the establishment of the WTO and the launch of the DDA negotiations, while the Information Technology Agreement and the Government Procurement Agreement are plurilateral agreements. Economically, it is expected of the increase in exports by more than $ 1 trillion, the creation of 20 million export-related jobs, and the increase in the world's GDP by about $ 960 billion due to the reduction of trade costs and the improvement of trade environment.

The limitations and problems of the WTO system are as clear as these achievements. In particular, governance issues that have long been pointed out are such typical examples. Decisions in the WTO system are in fact made by consensus, and enlarging the number of Member States has become a decisive factor in hindering efficient decision-making in the WTO. Although The ‘Single Undertaking’ principle of concluding the agreement contributed to maintaining the consistency and stability of the multilateral trade system, it caused the problem of the rigidity of the WTO system at the same time. The dispute settlement procedure is also increasingly problematic. Recently, the dispute settlement implementation process is increasingly followed by the retaliation process. In such processes, the situation in which the complainant must observe the implementation failure of the defendant until the retaliation is approved is undermining the fairness of the WTO system. Not only that, the lack of safeguard measures in service trade and the limitations and problems of special and differential treatment for developing countries have been pointed out as major challenges related to the current WTO system. In addition to the challenges of the WTO system itself, the fact that the WTO does not adequately respond to the rapidly changing global trade environment is also a major problem of the current WTO system. The reason why the FTAs around the world in the 2000’s have rapidly expanded is the WTO multilateral system has failed to respond effectively to the new trading environment. Since the early 2000s, the Global Production Networks have rapidly spread out and the 'made in world' has become common due to such international division of production, and hence the set-out of new trading rules and further tariff concessions in accordance with such development has long been awaited. However, the progress of DDA has fallen far short of expectation due to the confrontation between developed and developing countries. As the global economic slowdown has been prolonged since the global financial crisis in 2008, countries around the world have strengthened their protectionist policies for their industries and jobs. Notwithstanding, the WTO failed to issue a proper prescription for them. WTO members have constantly bashed protectionism and stated the importance of strengthening multilateral trade system whenever there is opportunity, but this is only an empty declaration; non-tariff measures have steadily increased since the financial crisis and have not returned to pre-2008 levels.

Note: Downloadable document is in Korean.

Keywords: Multilateral Trade Policy, Korea

Suggested Citation

Suh, Jin Kyo and Kim, Jong Duk and Park, Ji Hyun and Kim, Min-Sung and Ahn, Dukgeun, WTO 체재 개혁과 한국의 다자통상정책 방향 (Reshaping the Multilateral Trade Policy for Korea) (December 31, 2018). KIEP Research Paper. Policy Analyses 18-20, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3422617 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3422617

Jin Kyo Suh (Contact Author)

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy ( email )

[30147] Building C, Sejong National Research Compl
Seoul, 370
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Jong Duk Kim

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy ( email )

[30147] Building C, Sejong National Research Compl
Seoul, 370
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Ji Hyun Park

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy ( email )

[30147] Building C, Sejong National Research Compl
Seoul, 370
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Min-Sung Kim

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy ( email )

[30147] Building C, Sejong National Research Compl
Seoul, 370
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Dukgeun Ahn

Seoul National University ( email )

Graduate School of International Studies
Sillim, Kwanak-gu
Seoul, 151-742
82-2-880-9249 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://gsis.snu.ac.kr

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