The fundamental goal of any trade agreement is to promote and undergird government adherence to rule of law, which in turn enables private economic activity to thrive. When coupled with commitments to market access, individuals and companies are free to do business anywhere in the world.
With all the focus on tariffs these days, it is easy to overlook the return of another tool used to limit imports: quotas. Both quotas and tariffs are used to protect domestic industries by artificially raising prices in the domestic market. Their administration and effects, however, differ in specific ways.
After a decade of steady increase, the volume of arms trade by 2012 had reached levels not seen since the end of the Cold War. Trade in conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies is regulated through policies that include government defense procurement regulations, national export control licensing regimes and embargoes.
Sand is a critical component in many of the products we depend on every day. Demand for sand is expected to increase in the coming years, especially in developing countries faced with increasing populations, urbanization and economic growth. But despite its importance worldwide, sand is one of the least regulated resources today.
As rallying calls of “Trade for All” and economic inclusion reverberate throughout national trade agendas, international forums, and across trade negotiation tables, here’s a closer look at trade and gender issues, how trade agreements of the past have addressed them, and how a new generation of trade and gender chapters aim to change the narrative.
The bountiful show of cherry blossoms in Washington DC is a reliable harbinger of spring renewal. When they bloom in Japan, communities pause to appreciate their beauty and reflect on renewal. As WTO members start to design critical reforms to the global trading system, they should carry a renewed commitment to its future and a renewed vision to match that of its founders.
The concept of creating a generalized, non-reciprocal system of preferences for developing countries dates back to 1968. But enabling legitimate forms of discrimination has predictably had positive and negative consequences and there’s little economic data to demonstrate the programs have accrued significant benefits.
“Ugly” produce is a local trend serving a niche market. But if it does go global, there are a number of changes that would need to be made to standards at international, national and retailer levels on how we define what food “should” look like.
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.
Export controls are not a new idea. They date back to at least the 14th century when the English tried to keep longbow technology out of the hands of the French during the Hundred Years War. Today, we face a very different world with multiple adversaries, including non-state actors, and no strong consensus on how or when to act.