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what’s new @ the WTO?

Wednesday 12 August, 2009

I munched @ lunch to this lecture WTO and International Trade Agreements:  Under Pressure in Light of a Global Economic Downturn @ John Marshall law school by Mark Nguyen of MDN Trade LLC Here’s his presentation WTO-Protectionism-Chicago-June30-09 & the handouts to go along with the presentation WTO-March09-Handouts

Here are some additional points he made not included in his presentation:

  • countries are trying to prevent “job leakage”
  • export restraints are the focus of high-tech companies
  • developed vs. developing country issues are arising
  • the decline in global output is the 1st in 60 years
  • because supply chains are globally integrated, we won’t see a return to the depression of the 1930’s, at least not @ that same level
  • Free Trade Agreements (FTA) have been more effective than the WTO since 1994
  • Dispute settlements are pretty straightforward:  9 months, with 3-4 months for appeals
  • in Europe, computer monitors were equated with TV’s which required higher tariffs
  • the US Fast Track process has expired
  • an FTA of Asia Pacific would include 21 countries
  • Despite no Doha agreement, the WTO still moves forward
  • China produces 60% of the coke required for making steel;  the price is higher outside of China than inside China, which results in an effective subsidy
  • China’s internet filtering is blatant protectionism with a lack of notification & transparency

Q&A

  • It’s critical to get Russia to join the WTO, but depends on the price of oil
  • Regional Trade Agreements get exceptions on enforcement provisions when they create more trade;  specific quotas can be attacked
  • don’t bring intellectual property to China;  the Chamber of Commerce is looking @ certification;  the government wants developers to turn over source code
  • look to Europe for approaches to carbon emissions;  if they are not part of the treaty, Brazil, China, & India will be penalized-if the US loses, it can lead to retaliation from China.
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