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The WTO’s Trade Policy Review Mechanism: How to Create Political Will for Liberalization

October 27 2009
Venue: ECIPE Office, Rue Belliard 4-6, 7:th floor, 1040 Brussels
Speakers: Valentin Zahrnt
Time: 13:00

The economic crisis has sparked fears about emerging protectionism and created wide interest in initiatives to monitor trade policies. The WTO regularly examines its members’ trade policies – but its reports tend to be superficial and uncritical. How could they be improved to become a more powerful tool for trade liberalization? This question is of crucial importance today as the Doha Round is stuck and governments are vulnerable to protectionist temptations to protect domestic jobs.

The time is right for tackling the transparency challenge. The economic crisis has created momentum for fundamental re-thinking and reform of international institutions. Furthermore, the WTO Ministerial Meeting in November 2009 is explicitly dedicated to such systemic issues in the world trading system.

Valentin Zahrnt argues that WTO reports should help domestic stakeholders to compare trade policies across countries and to better understand the trade and welfare effects involved. This way, reports can make a better case for liberal reform and serve as a reference in domestic policy debates.

You are cordially invited to this lunch seminar with Valentin Zahrnt.

Venue: RSVP to info@ecipe.org before October 23