This past two weeks, leaders from around the world gathered in New York to attend the United Nation’s General Assembly.
These days, the amount of data available about anything, anywhere, is growing much faster than our ability to process and really understand it. This is true in many fields, but especially in matters of international trade. Statistics on trade flows are available in over 5,000 product categories for all countries, and even more detail for many.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, with its emphasis on dismantling behind-the-border trade restrictions and on fostering regulatory coherence, is often referred to as the new “gold standard” for preferential trade agreements. The road ahead - in terms of its ratification by the parliaments of TPP members - will be a treacherous one.
One of the reasons – certainly not the only one - why countries have moved to regional negotiations is the long-lasting deadlock in the Doha negotiations. Yet, the WTO continues to play a critical role in today’s global economy.
The WTO is at a critical juncture. For almost 70 years, the multilateral trading system embodied first by the GATT and now by the WTO has provided an unprecedented level of stability and predictability in the way most countries conduct their trade operations.
On October 5 the twelve members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) announced the conclusion of negotiations.