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The biennial Trade and Sustainable Development Symposium, organised by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and held alongside the WTO ministerial conference for over a decade, is the leading multi-stakeholder platform for intellectual enquiry and dialogue on sustainable development and the global trade and investment system. It acts as an inclusive platform outside of the WTO negotiating setting for sharing ideas, engaging in dialogue, and influencing trade policy negotiations. Drawing in participants from government, business and civil society, the Symposium helps to maintain and elaborate a global vision of sustainable development in trade and investment policymaking.
Tuesday, December 12 • 9:00am - 10:30am
A New Paradigm for Trade Policy: Trumpism and Challenges to the Multilateral Trading System

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The impetus of multilateral trading system was formed to overcome the outbreak of protectionism in the 1930s and its severe scarring effects. With the expansion of membership over last six decades, it has transformed into the current system, represented by the World Trade Organization. The positive contribution of the WTO in trade liberalization has been well-acknowledged, especially in terms of setting out rule-based global trading system and leading the participation of heterogeneous economies at various development levels in it. According to the WTO, the volume of trade has increased two-and-a-half times since the launch of the WTO. Such explosive increase of global trade is believed to have created better opportunities for faster ecnomic growth, higher levels of job creation, and poverty reduction across countries.

Despite the success and achievements realized so far, the current multilateral trading system has confronted significant challenges. Sluggish progress and repeated delays of the Doha Round negotiations in consequence have failed to provide proper venues to explore new trading rules in a fast-evolving global economic environment. At the same time, the rise of protectionist sentiment and corresponding trade-restrictive actions across countries since the global financial crisis pose another challenge along with slow eeconomic recovery, stagnated trade growth and widening income inequality. In spite of numerous evidence of positive benefits from trade, escalating dissatisfaction towards trade liberalization puts the pursuit of trade liberalization and economic integration on the defensive as populist backlash against trade prevails even among the world’s leading economies.

Notwithstanding such widely-accepted consensus that we need to break the current political stalemate and move forward in pursuit of trade liberalization, the answer to how to elicit international cooperation for it under the current multilateral trading system does not seem so clear.

In this session, we first would like to assess the achievements and the challenges of the multilateral trading system, especially in the context of current economic environment. Then we will explore all the possible options for the changes of the current multilateral trading system and ways to enhance the international cooperation in trade liberalization.

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avatar for Taeho Bark

Taeho Bark

President, Lee&Ko Global Commerce Institute and Former Minister for Trade
Taeho Bark is currently President of Lee&Ko Global Commerce Institute and Professor Emeritus of Seoul National University. Professor Bark served Minister for Trade of the Korean government (2011-2013). Dr. Bark was also in the race for the DG position of the WTO. He served the Chairman... Read More →

avatar for Chul Chung

Chul Chung

Vice President, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
Chul Chung is Vice President of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy in charge of the Department of International Trade. He is Vice Chair of the Korea National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation (KOPEC) and Vice President of the Korean Association of Trade... Read More →
avatar for Simon Evenett

Simon Evenett

Professor, University of St. Gallen
Simon J. Evenett is Professor of International Trade and Economic Development, and for the past 5 years has also been Academic Director of the MBA, at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He is also the coordinator of the independent trade policy watchdog Global Trade Alert... Read More →
avatar for Bernard Hoekman

Bernard Hoekman

Professor and Director, Global Economics at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute (EUI)
Bernard Hoekman is the Director of the research strand “Global Economics: Multilateral Cooperation and Policy Spillovers”. He has held various senior positions at the World Bank, including Director of the International Trade Department and Research Manager in the Development Research... Read More →
avatar for Danny Leipziger

Danny Leipziger

Professor of International Business & Int’l Affairs, The George Washington University
Danny Leipziger is Professor of International Business and International Affairs, George Washington University, and Managing Director, the Growth Dialogue, a network dedicated to examining the issues of sustainable and shared economic growth. He is former Vice President of the Poverty... Read More →
avatar for Jin Kyo SUH

Jin Kyo SUH

Senior Research Fellow, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
Jin Kyo SUH is an adjunct professor of the U.S. –Korea Institute at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University in the Washington, D.C. Dr. Suh is also a senior research fellow of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP). He... Read More →

Tuesday December 12, 2017 9:00am - 10:30am GMT-03
Breakout Room 1 - Belgrano