There can be little doubt that the conduct of Australian trade policy will become more complex and challenging for the foreseeable future.
Two trends are salient. First, with the deterioration in global geopolitical circumstances, trade policy and foreign and strategic policy have increasingly
The value of global goods trade during the biggest pandemic in a century last year dropped about a third less than it did during the biggest financial crisis in a generation in 2008. But internet searches about “economic resilience” are running more than twice as high these days
Australia’s stern statement at a World Trade Organisation review of China’s trade policy last month emphasised that Beijing’s trade disruptive measures may be targeted at Australia, but present a serious problem for all. The implications, the statement said, “go beyond their impact on
I have three propositions about Australia’s participation in World Trade Organisation dispute settlement to put to Interpreter readers. Proposition one: the WTO dispute settlement system has never been of more relevance to AustraliaAustralia has been relatively restrained in its use of the system
It is now almost three years since Prime Minister Scott Morrison muscled up to China’s infrastructure building Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with $3 billion in varied funding to create an Australian alternative mostly in the Pacific.
So, it was notable to see that when the Council of
Under President Donald Trump, the United States launched an assault on the rules-based multilateral trading system, repeatedly threatening to withdraw from the World Trade Organisation (WTO), sabotaging its enforcement mechanism and blatantly violating its rules by arbitrarily imposing tariffs on
With the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Doha Round of negotiations stalled nearly 20 years after its launch, it takes an optimist to see the prospect of the multilateral rules-based trading system being brought back from the brink.
Dramatic shifts in geopolitical and economic weight across the WTO
The United States has thrown its support behind demands from developing countries to temporarily waive intellectual property (IP) rights for Covid-19 vaccines. Other rich countries, including Australia, that are yet to change their position at the World Trade Organisation should also do so with the
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was swift to claim former finance minister Mathias Cormann’s selection as Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) secretary-general as a tribute to Australia’s global influence.
“The appointment is recognition of Australia’s
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari fully supported the candidature of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become Director-General of the World Trade Organisation. Even though the two are the products of different political philosophies, in June 2020 Buhari nominated Okonjo-Iweala, who served as Nigeria’s
Food for thought
Picking winners and sacrificing national interests are two things that conservative politicians usually like to hold out as anathema.
But it says a lot about how the meltdown in relations with China is changing economic diplomacy that they are exactly what the federal
India might have spurned the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, but its parable of the blind men and the elephant still provides the best way of understanding reaction to the region’s newest trade deal.
Is it a child’s paddling pool the width of an ocean (Financial
New world order
The leadership of the World Trade Organisation may be the first test of whether the world can move on with normal life amid the divisions and recriminations as the US recovers from a bitter election.
In one of its last international policy moves, the Trump administration last week
Like a sailing ship caught in the doldrums, the international trade policy world seems stagnant and listless. Is there any fresh wind to be detected? Can we create some movement?
In this coronavirus–dominated environment, nothing much is happening. The trend in global trade itself is not easy to
At a time when stability and predictability are needed most, the body at the heart of the rules-based trading system — the World Trade Organization — is reeling from far more than just a paralysed Appellate Body and antagonistic Trump administration
There is growing support for diversifying Australia’s economic ties with China in order to reduce the risks of economic coercion. The main bilateral economic ties are through exports, imports and investment. Australia’s risks of economic coercion from China mainly come via exports. China buys 33
Did anyone notice that the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), the revised NAFTA, entered into force on 1 July? If not, do not be too concerned, as the Covid-19 crisis has probably affected that as well.
Still, this deal is (without getting too much into the weeds of whether it is
Australian businesses in Southeast Asia are showing continued faith in regional economic integration despite the relatively lacklustre cross border political cooperation so far seen in response to the pandemic.
A new survey of Australian-connected businesses on
Last weekend news broke that the Chinese government was considering imposing large tariffs on Australian barley exports. Now, China-bound exports from four Australian meat processors have been suspended.
Following Australian calls for an independent inquiry into the early handling of Covid-19,
Earlier this week, New Zealand moved out of total lockdown into a phase of continuing control on social movement, but with an opening of widespread economic activity. Schools reopened partially. It is estimated that about half a million people returned to work after a stand down of five weeks.
Within 24 hours, the Appellate Body of the Word Trade Organisation will cease to function. Designed with seven members, the Appellate Body has seen its membership dwindling over the past three years, with the current headcount at three, the bare minimum necessary to form the quorum for a division
It has been one of the most forecast developments in geo-economics, but the World Trade Organisation is about to finally suffer the crippling blow of its appeals process coming to a halt. On 11 December, the trade court will no longer have enough judges to issue the binding rulings that
Revision season is well underway at the top of the institutions that underpin the globalised economy, those same institutions now in the cross hairs of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s audit of what Australia gets from globalism.
In the last week, the heads of the
With this year's summit season coming to an end, Turkey will officially hand over the G20 hosting baton to China on 1 December 2015. The Hangzhou Leaders' Summit has already been announced for 4 and 5 September 2016, slightly earlier than previous years to avoid clashing with the US presidential
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is close to the make-or-break stage. It will either get US Congressional blessing soon or lose momentum and slip from the agenda. So it is surprising how little public debate there is in Australia about its important ramifications. For an excellent exception, see
The APEC Leaders' Meeting underway in Beijing seems to be finessing the various conflicting and overlapping trade initiatives and avoiding serious damage. But it is not resolving any of the underlying tensions.
At the multilateral level, the WTO remains in limbo after India pulled the rug out
The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Roberto Azevedo, says the institution has descended into 'paralysis'.
Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Roberto Azevedo, Bali, 2013.
Following the failure to get India to remove its objection to advancing the
Much of the mountain of commentary and analysis of the 2008 Great Recession has been either critical (Paul Krugman might be typical), or a self-interested defence (Tim Geithner and Larry Summers provide examples). Daniel Drezner's The System Worked is atypical in two respects: he was not a