You are here

The Future of the WTO

The Future of the WTO and the International Trading System

Thursday,  4 November 2010

Keith Rockwell, Director of the Information and Media Relations Division at the WTO, discussed the state of the international trading system and the WTO’s role within it. Professor Merit E. Janow moderated the lecture. According to Mr. Rockwell, the multilateral trading system has worked; governments haven’t resorted to protectionism, even in the face of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  Stimulus packages adopted in response to the crisis prevented world trade from contracting by an estimated 12%, and by the time the 2010 figures come in, trade is expected to have increased by 11% from 2009. However, the Doha Round of trade negotiations has stalled, and was being replaced by ever-increasing amounts of bilateral trade agreements. 

Professor Janow added that protectionist pressures were indeed increasing, and that advocates of free trade should not be too optimistic yet.  Rockwell agreed, saying it is necessary to be vigilant about free trade policies, especially within our own government; we should avoid the temptation to just blame protectionist pressures on other governments. In the following question and answer period, a student asked about the effect of bilateral agreements on international trade.  Rockwell said they shouldn’t be regarded as much of a threat at this point, and could sometimes in fact be beneficial to the process; for instance, introducing bilaterals in Africa has allowed people to get accustomed to the exchange of ideas and goods.  Rockwell closed by noting that the WTO power structure has shifted toward developing countries in recent years.  They have very skilled negotiators who make good use of the dispute settlement system to their benefit.

This event was co-sponsored by the International Finance and Economic Program (IFEP) at SIPA.
 
 
 
 

Contact Us

APEC Study Center at Columbia University
Columbia University, 3022 Broadway
2M-9 Uris Hall
New York, NY 10027-7004
212-854-3976

The Curl Ideas to wrap your mind around

Columbia Business School Ushers in Centennial Milestone with the Launch of a Multi-Year Celebration

Columbia Business School today announced the launch of its centennial celebration, unveiling a new website and announcing an array of events to commemorate the School’s landmark achievements over the past 100 years.

Read More >

All in the Family

People often talk about the close bonds that define the School’s community, but the Guenthers take the idea of a “Columbia Business School family” to a new level.

Read More >

2015 Deming Cup to Be Awarded to Kenneth Chenault and Toby Cosgrove

The W. Edwards Deming Center at Columbia Business School announced that the 2015 Deming Cup for Operational Excellence will be awarded to Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and CEO of American Express, and Dr. Delos M. “Toby” Cosgrove, president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic.

Read More >

3 Big, Bold Career Moves

Top ways to audaciously position yourself for your next job and beyond

Read More >

Columbia Business School Partners with the White House to Expand Opportunities for Female Leaders

Columbia Business School has long been a leader in identifying building a pipeline that encourages and supports female leaders.

Read More >

Want to Field a Winning Team? Try Equality

Research from Professor Adam Galinsky studied FIFA data from 199 soccer teams and found that the more broadly-based your talent search, the more people you will encounter and the higher the probability that you will find talent in places you never knew existed.

Read More >

Lorraine Marchand Named Director of Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management Program

In her new role, which she assumes on August 3, Marchand will be responsible for strategic, curricular, and administrative initiatives for the program, working closely with students, faculty and staff members, alumni, and corporate sponsors.

Read More >

You’re More Creative When You’re Sarcastic, Study Says

Research by Professor Adam Galinsky reveals that people who express and receive sarcastic comments are more creative.

Read More >

Stop Thinking about Markets as If They Were Human

The language we use to describe market moves affects our behavior, says Professor Michael Morris’ research. Therefore, how TV commentators speak about markets can influence investors' opinions.

Read More >