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Stuart Harbinson

Email: stuart.harbinson@gmail.com


Stuart Harbinson

Stuart Harbinson had a distinguished career in public service in Hong Kong. From 1994 to 2002 he represented Hong Kong, and then the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, in the WTO in Geneva. He subsequently joined the WTO Secretariat as Chief of Staff to Director-General Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi and then became Senior Adviser to Director-General Pascal Lamy. He is currently working in the UNCTAD Secretariat in Geneva. He has rich experience as a former Chairman of a number of WTO bodies, including the TRIPS and Services Councils, and the Dispute Settlement Body. He was Chairman of the WTO’s overarching body, the General Council (2001/2) overseeing preparations for the launch of the Doha round, and of the negotiating group handling the formative stages of the Doha negotiations on agriculture (2002/4). He has also chaired a number of WTO dispute settlement panels.

  • ECIPE Bulletins

    The Trump tariffs on steel and aluminium: the end of the WTO?

    By: Stuart Harbinson 

    There is no doubt that the recent announcement by the U.S. Administration of tariff hikes on steel and aluminium, justified on national security grounds, presents the real threat of an extremely damaging tit-for-tat trade war. If the tariffs are challenged at the WTO, there is the unwelcome prospect of the WTO having to rule on whether the U.S.’s “essential security interests”, taken in time of an “emergency in international relations”, constitute a...

  • ECIPE Bulletins

    The WTO’s Upcoming Ministerial Conference: A Tango or a Tangle in Buenos Aires?

    By: Stuart Harbinson 

    In two weeks’ time trade ministers will gather in Buenos Aires for the WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference. What is in prospect, and does it matter? Suggestions for ministerial attention have not been in short supply – agricultural subsidies and public stockholding, pesticide residues, fisheries subsidies, e-commerce, trade in services regulations, investment facilitation, micro/small enterprises, export restrictions, and ideas for enhancing transparency and...

  • ECIPE Bulletins

    “Either he’s dead, or my watch has stopped”: The WTO’s Nairobi Ministerial Conference must be Clear About the Future of the Doha Round

    By: Stuart Harbinson 

    American comedian Groucho Marx was no watcher of trade policy. Although dating from the 1930s, a modern-day trade policy cynic or realist (depending on one’s point of view) might think the Marx quote in the title is an apt comment on the Doha Round of trade negotiations. This Round was supposed to be a sprint. The original timeframe, set out in November 2001, was three years – very short by the standards of multilateral trade negotiations. It has turned into a...

  • ECIPE Policy Briefs

    Can Plurilateralism Save the Bali Agreement on Trade Facilitation?

    By: Stuart Harbinson 

    The new package of trade accords that was concluded at the World Trade Organisation’s Bali Ministerial Meeting late last year was a fresh start for the battered international trade body. Yet defeat has been snatched from the jaws of victory. A small number of countries refuses to agree on a protocol for the Bali deal on trade facilitation – and the entire agreement is now endangered. In this policy brief, Stuart Harbinson asks if the many countries which...

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