Challenges to the Multilateral Trading System: The Rising Trade Protectionism Amid the Global Economic Recession
14 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2009
Date Written: October 26, 2009
Since the end of WWII, significant progress has been made on the road the liberalisation of global trade. The establishment of a rule-based multilateral trading system administered by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has been an important part of this process. Yet trade-restricting national policies continue to flourish. The global economic recession has introduced new threats to international trade and highlighted the challenges facing the multilateral trading system.
This paper explores three of those challenges. The first is the expanding scope of protectionism implied by the policy response of governments to the global economic downturn. The second is the immediate task facing the WTO of completing Doha Round negotiations and ensuring the effectiveness of existing multilateral trade disciplines. And the third is the vulnerability of global trade to the unilateral policy decisions of the U.S. and its relationships with other major economies, particularly China and the EU. The paper is organised in three sections - one section for each of the three challenges.
Keywords: Trade protectionism, Mulilateral trade, International trade, Trading system, WTO, Global recession, Industry assistance, Government bailout
JEL Classification: E62, F02, F15, F17, F21, F42, H30, H87
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