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The topic of ‘trade and technology’ usually gives rise to discussions of the ways in which new technologies might be traded, and the limitation of current trade rules in adapting to rapidly changing innovations. In contrast, this chapter asks a fundamentally different question – what opportunities will technology present to change the modes and methods by which trade regulation is achieved? Specifically, the chapter considers how the World Trade Organization (WTO), or a future trade organisation, might itself take advantage of technology to restructure how it manages trade and fulfils its mandate. That mandate includes serving as a facilitator of trade agreements and market access negotiations, a forum for resolution of trade disputes, and a watchdog for national trade policies. It argues that technologies such as artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technologies, and the Internet of Things can be used in order to streamline and improve a range of WTO processes, particularly dispute settlement, negotiations, notifications, and monitoring.
This chapter explores the contemporary importance of the embedded liberalism compromise in a diversified world and its significance as a modern touchstone for recalibrating the balance between trade and non-trade interests. It explains how and why Embedded Liberalism has fallen out of favour as an animating value of the contemporary international system, exploring shifting conceptions of liberalism, changing ideas about the role of a trade organization, and changing dynamics caused by the greatly increased number of actors in the international economic system. The chapter then examines the benefits that could flow from reinvoking the values of the Compromise, and the challenges to doing so in the contemporary environment.
As part of the 1947 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), a compromise on domestic socio-economic issues was struck and subsequently given the name 'embedded liberalism'. The Future of International Economic Integration explores the multiple dimensions of the embedded liberalism compromise, to understand its contemporary influence on both the scope and application of international trade law, and on the content and character of parallel domestic socio-economic policy space. Top international economic law scholars have contributed chapters that look at the four principal dimensions of the topic. It sets out the history and character of the embedded liberalism compromise, explores the relationship between the compromise and WTO law, explores areas of contemporary tension that invoke the principles of the compromise such as human rights, cultural diversity, and environmental protection, and investigates what future impact the compromise might have on new trade and investment agreements.