International Trade

WTO: The U.S. Must Really not Like Seung Wha Chang

A U.S. decision to block the reappointment of Seung Wha Chang, a South Korean member of the appellate body of the World Trade Organization, has put at risk the independence and credibility of the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism — the crown jewels of the multilateral trading system. After the de facto collapse of the Doha round of talks on further trade liberalization the U.S. move is a serious blow for the WTO.

Who is Trashing the TPP and Who Can Save It?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is under siege, with presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle voicing increasingly protectionist positions. As the general election gets into full swing this fall, the anti-trade rhetoric promises to reach fever pitch, taking down TPP in the process.

When an FTA Falls Short

The South Korea–China Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which entered into effect in December 2015, has proved disappointing. The pact excludes too much economic activity and does too little to propel growth in both countries. As a result, South Korea and China have missed an opportunity to set a new precedent for East Asian economic integration.

Maybe India isn't Interested in American-Style Trade Rules

On 2 May 2016, US President Barack Obama published an op-ed in the Washington Post in an attempt to bolster support for the highly controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP has become a political football in the US election primaries, with all of the leading candidates for President expressing their opposition to it.

Obama’s main argument was that the US should be writing the trade rules of the 21st century, rather than ‘countries like China’.

Intra-Regional Trade Lagging in South Asia

Recent decades have witnessed a growing trend towards regional economic integration. As of February 2016, some 625 notifications of regional trade agreements had been received by the WTO and of these, 419 were in force. However, South Asia is still lagging behind. It remains the least integrated region in the world.

Working on the (Global Value) Chain Gang

ASEAN is on the lookout for ways to accelerate trade facilitation and eliminate trade barriers by 2025 under its new 10-year ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) roadmap. Extensive research has demonstrated the vital role of global value chains (GVCs) in enhancing economic integration and liberalising trade.

According to World Bank and OECD research, GVC-driven policies have been shown to drive productivity growth, create jobs and improve living standards. So what exactly are GVCs and are they the solution that ASEAN is looking for?