A Strategic Approach to Liberalizing Trade
The Institute aims to promote a strategic approach to the liberalization of international trade and investment. The approach is based on the convergence of long-term national interests and the maintenance, development and extension of the WTO system, itself founded on free-trade principles, private enterprise and open competition.
Reliance on open markets, with private initiative the means of adjustment to changing economic circumstances, is the only durable way, consistent with the rights of the individual, to secure peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among countries.
Trade and related policies do not mark time; either they are moving forwards or they are moving backwards. The Institute therefore intends to be proactive in taking up new ideas, proposals and initiatives:
· advancing the liberalization of trade in services, manufactures and agricultural products
· extending the WTO system to investment restrictions and competition laws
· improving the WTO agreement on trade-related aspects of protecting intellectual property rights
· achieving coherence and consistency among WTO rules on regulatory trade measures
· promoting transparency, openness and disclosure in public administration, corporate governance and financial institutions
· enhancing the rule of law to uphold private property rights and laws of contract, critical to the functioning of market economies.
That is a full agenda. Ignoring such issues does not make them go away. For decades political thought, leadership and institutions have not kept pace with the rapid integration of the world economy.
Economic integration does not wait for politicians, commentators and demonstrators to grasp the issues involved. It is becoming more and more critical for public debate to be attuned to changing demands so that decisions are motivated not by fear but by an appreciation of the potential scope for improving standards of living around the world.