Offshore drilling rig at sunset

Energy Trade and GATT Rules: Is Something Missing?

Trade in hydrocarbons, fissionable materials and cross-border transmission of electricity largely take place outside the multilateral trading system. Two key developments may now lead to convergence between the energy business and the rules of the WTO.

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Time to eat

Retaliation: Why Raising Tariffs Becomes a Food Fight

Although the steel and aluminum tariffs are promoted by the Trump administration as a strategy to seek fairness for those industries, the tariffs will incite retaliation by trading partners, imposing significant costs on large numbers of U.S. producers and consumers who have nothing to do with these industries' grievances.

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football on field

Where Will You Watch Super Bowl LII?

Sports fans around the world have so many new platforms and formats to enjoy premium sporting events, that income from the sale of broadcasting and media rights far surpasses revenue from ticket sales in most sports. Unlike in football, the rules of this game are still being written.

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Man Thinking

What is President Trump Thinking on Trade?

It would be a guessing game to try to predict what the president might do specifically on trade in 2018. Whatever he decides, there are trends morphing the trading system even as the U.S. Government works to figure out its role in shaping it.

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Afghanistan accession

The WTO Supports Economic Resolutions

New WTO members Afghanistan and Liberia are cheerleaders for other countries seeking WTO membership, including Iraq, Somalia and Timor-Leste. These countries are resolved to rebuild their post-conflict economies and believe that making commitments in the WTO will undergird necessary, but difficult, economic reforms at home.

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WTO Accessions Map

Join the Trade Club

The WTO’s Accessions Intelligence Portal contains a bevy of information on the accession process, the status of more than twenty governments in the process of becoming a WTO member, technical assistance activities, and other resources.

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Brainstorming concepts.

Global Trade Ministers Retreat

WTO Ministerial Conferences are held every two years. They aren’t really strategy retreats, like the management team off-sites that companies hold, but maybe they should be.

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2018 goals test

The Future of the WTO

It would be a costly error to take the WTO for granted. It is one of the indispensable international institutions that underwrite the functioning of the world economy. Yet, the institution and its rules need to keep pace with the evolution of world trade. Without change, the WTO is at risk of not remaining fully relevant.

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concluding MC10

GATT Rounds: Who, What, When

In 1944, the global economy was in shambles. Forty-four nations gathered in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to discuss how to rebuild an economy devastated by protracted depression and two World Wars. From these discussions emerged a 1947 agreement on a lasting framework for post-war commercial relations whereby trade barriers were contained and then gradually reduced over time.

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Teamwork Challange Concept.

The Value of the WTO

As a new resident in Geneva, I consulted with a number of WTO Ambassadors to the WTO as well as senior members of the secretariat. Several members offered a bottom line value to the WTO: the WTO system is providing essential stability without which business would have far less certainty. Without the WTO system in place, economic activity — both cross border and domestic – would be sharply reduced. Anyone who cares about either the level of economic activity for a country or for a company should pause and consider that truth.

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