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Warwick Commission into the Future of the Global Trade Regime

Jan '07
Pradeep S. Mehta, Secretary General of CUTS International has been invited to be a member of the "Warwick Commission into the Future of the Global Trade Regime”.

It is hosted at the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation at the University of Warwick, UK. Mr. Pierre Pettigrew, former Canadian Minister for Trade and Foreign Affairs is the Chairman of this Commission.

Five broad questions will drive the work of the Commission:
What is the future role of the WTO as an institution? Can it continue to be a vehicle for trade liberalisation in an increasingly complex and economically inter-dependent world?

Should its remit extend to the non-multilateral forms of trade liberalisation? How extensive should dispute settlement and surveillance be? Should development be a legitimate part of the WTO's mandate?

How salient are alternative (regional and bilateral) trade arrangements for the future of the international trade system overall? Are regional trading arrangements inimical to, and sub-optimal to multilateral arrangements? Is a world of regional trading blocs becoming more likely?

How salient are the policies of the other international economic institutions (IMF and World Bank) in determining the direction of trade policy in developing countries: a) to what extent are the evolving arrangements driven more by political considerations than economic theory?

This is not only an issue in the national capitals of the major players, it is also increasingly an issue for developing countries, entering into asymmetrical trading relationships with more powerful states; and b) what global constitutional status should the WTO have in the management of these relationships?

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