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Further WTO Development

TRADE policy does not mark time. It is either moving forwards or it is moving backwards. Rather than let the agenda be set by those fearful of change, the Institute intends to be pro-active in promoting ideas, proposals and initiatives for:

  • advancing the liberalization of trade in services, manufactures and agricultural products;

  • extending the WTO system to investment regulations and competition laws;

  • achieving consistency among WTO rules on regulatory trade laws, most notably emergency-protection, anti-dumping and subsidy-countervailing measures;

  • enhancing the rule of law to uphold private property rights and laws of contract, critical to the functioning of market economies;

  • improving the WTO agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights;

  • addressing impediments to technological advances that can contribute to economic growth and development;

  • introducing a multilateral framework of rules on electronic commerce;

  • broadening the notion of "transparency" beyond the visibility of trade measures to the visibility of their effects;

  • promoting transparency, openness and disclosure in public administration, corporate governance and financial institutions; and

  • strengthening the links between the WTO, the World Bank and the IMF to improve "global coherence" among trade, financial (debt) and monetary policies.

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.

One lesson has been that economic integration does not wait for publics — for politicians, commentators and demonstrators — to grasp the issues involved. So it is becoming more and more critical that public discourse 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.


Activities of the Institute
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  • Background to the Initiative
    Next Phase in the WTO System
    Further WTO

    "Obscene" Farm Bill

    "The Farm Bill that Democratic leaders … are trying to push through the Senate before Congress adjourns for the holidays is obscene. It would institutionalize the insupportable excesses of the past few years in which billions of dollars in supposedly emergency payments have been regularly made to the nation's largest and least-needy producers. In the House, the Republican leadership won approval of a similar bill, over mild administration objections, in October"

    —Editorial, "A Piggy Farm Bill",
    The Washington Post,
    14 December 2001

    Most Damaging Program

    "One should note the irony of the European Union's position as a user of anti-dumping measures, in view of its export subsidies on farm surpluses, the most damaging dumping programme in the world…"

    —MARTIN WOLF in the
    Financial Times, London and New York, 21 November 2001