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The introductory chapter outlines key factors that we expect to shape global trade regulation for years to come. We briefly discuss how these factors put pressure on trade governance to adapt and to change. We also summarize the rationale for the various sections and the individual contributions to the volume.
In recent years, the negotiation of various trade agreements, such as the TPP, TTIP and CETA, has been accompanied by a large public backlash. Are we observing a paradigm shift in public perception of world trade or just temporary shifts in public support for the global economic order that oscillate around a more or less steady level? This chapter provides an overview of the major determinants of support for or opposition against PTAs and discusses how much room to maneuver policy makers have in designing such agreements. Furthermore, we discuss what policy makers can do to increase support for such agreements. We thereby focus on framing strategies and provide an analysis of which types of arguments are conducive to increase support for PTAs and how individuals process such information. This allows us to construct different future scenarios for policy makers to better align the negotiation and design of future trade agreements with the demand of their constituencies.
International migration is a relative newcomer on the “trade and” agenda and has hitherto received relatively little attention in trade and migration studies alike. The inclusion of labour migration as one essential mode of cross-border trade in services, so-called Mode 4 in the GATS, opened the agenda for more far-reaching developments at the level of regional and bilateral free-trade agreements . This chapter shows that this deepening of the trade-migration nexus is intricately linked to power shifts in the global economy and the rise of regionalism. For the international trade regime in 2025, this means that, in combination with the ongoing power transitions, the trade-related mobility agenda is likely to expand beyond what the former sponsors of the GATS agreement, the European Union (EU) and the United States, originally intended.
After three decades of companionship, investment protection rules and trade agreements are heading for a divorce. Investment chapters have been included in preferential trade and investment agreements (PTIAs) since the late 1980s, but they have recently come under fire. The U.S. administration considers privately enforceable investment protection obligations as an unwanted incentive to offshore American jobs, and the EU Commission seeks to omit them to benefit from the accelerated ratification process reserved for trade agreements that fall under exclusive EU competency. After decades of coexistence, investment protection rules and trade agreements are thus likely to go their separate ways. This chapter empirically evaluates the impact of their thirty-year companionship to assess the implications of their looming split. It finds that investment chapters remain little more than a bilateral investment treaty plugged into a trade agreement. PTIAs and self-standing investment treaties do not vary systematically in investment protection content, and the wider trade agreement context does little to affect the interpretation of investment rules in PTIAs. In spite of their coexistence in the same treaty, there is thus little evidence of cross-fertilization between trade and investment protection rules in PTIAs. This absence of normative convergence suggests that their looming split merely formalizes the continuous normative distinction between trade liberalization and investment protection.
This chapter first characterizes the fundamental purposes of the WTO and trade agreements, which should be viewed as much broader than trade liberalization. It then presents the major challenges that the trade system now faces. Special emphasis is paid to technological change since the WTO was created in 1995, namely, the development of global value chains. Finally, the author contends that trade agreements, in response, must be designed and conditioned upon social policy commitments. They should include, or be conditioned upon, agreements that cover: coordinated tax policy to combat harmful tax competition, tax avoidance, and tax evasion; domestic social security and job retraining, supported by trade adjustment commitments; labor protection; protections against social dumping; and accommodation of industrial policy experimentation for development. It will not be an easy process to reconceive trade agreements to better ensure social inclusion through these means, but the current system otherwise could unravel.
Today's trade regime and its rules are under pressure. Increasing societal discontent with globalization and the rise of protectionist measures threaten the trade regime's legitimacy and effectiveness. The authors explore systemic challenges to the trade regime, inter alia, related to development, migration, inequality, the digital economy and climate change. The Shifting Landscape of Global Trade Governance allows the readers, in times of change, to put current developments into context and offers an understanding of the different dynamics defining today's regulation of the global economy. Chapters authored by leading researchers from different disciplines - law, political science and economics - address the challenges of the global economic system and share novel outlooks, both theory- and data-based, for the future.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) recently celebrated twenty years of existence. The general wisdom is that its dispute settlement institutions work well and its negotiation machinery goes through a phase of prolonged crises. Assessing the World Trade Organization overcomes this myopic view and takes stock of the WTO's achievements whilst going beyond existing disciplinary narratives. With chapters written by scholars who have closely observed the development of the WTO in recent years, this book presents the state of the art in thinking about WTO performance. It also considers important issues such as the origins of the multilateral system, the accession process and the WTO's interaction with other international organisations. The contributions shed new light on untold stories, critically review and present existing scholarship, and sketch new research avenues for a future generation of trade scholars. This book will appeal to a wide audience that aims to better understand the drivers and obstacles of WTO performance.