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The world trade regime, the WTO and large scale crises: Perspectives after the Pittsburg G20 Summit

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Patrick Messerlin
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Abstract

One year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and three years after the start of the food and commodities crisis, time seems ripe to make a provisional assessment of the resilience of the open trade policies to this severe downturn, and to draw the main lessons. In attempting to answer this question, we need to make a distinction between the "world trade regime" and the World Trade Organization (WTO). The former consists in all the multilateral, plurilateral and unilateral trade policies. Sometimes such policies amplify WTO weaknesses. But, sometimes they amplify WTO disciplines, as during the past year (see section 1). The WTO, with its key disciplines and its dispute settlement mechanism, is the undisputed legal skeleton of the world trade architecture. But, it is in a great need to adjust to a faster-moving, often chaotic, world trade regime. The distinction between the WTO and the world trade regime is even more crucial since the designation of the G20 as the "premier forum" for the international economic cooperation between the largest world economies [Pittsburgh Summit communiqué]. Korea which holds the G20 Chair for 2010 (and Canada the host the G20 in Spring) will have the major task to develop this new architecture--weaving together the G20, the WTO and the other traderelated international institutions.
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hal-01053280 , version 1 (30-07-2014)

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Patrick Messerlin. The world trade regime, the WTO and large scale crises: Perspectives after the Pittsburg G20 Summit. Asia-Pacific Trade Economists' Conference, Nov 2009, Bangkok, Thailand. ⟨hal-01053280⟩

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