An international trade body is the world’s largest voluntary trade organisation, and has the power to negotiate trade agreements between member countries.
The organisation’s trade agreements make up around 80 per cent of all trade between member states.
But in recent years, the organisation has struggled to meet its key goals: to promote and protect the health and safety of its members, to make sure that its members’ interests are represented in global negotiations, and to ensure the safety of the trade of its member countries and people.
The challenges facing the organisation are many, from the scale of the global challenges facing its members to the organisation’s financial constraints.
To understand how the organisation is faring, we talked to international trade experts, trade policy experts, and trade policy specialists to get a sense of the organisation and its challenges.
The experts interviewed: Professor Tim Taylor, director of the Australian Centre for International Trade Policy at Monash University in Melbourne, and a senior adviser at the Institute for Policy Research and Development, the Australian government-funded research group, and an expert on trade, foreign investment and the environment.
The interview was conducted on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the UN’s International Trade Committee.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Dr Andrew Kostik, professor of international trade law at the University of NSW, and associate director of The Hague Centre for Trade Law at the Hague University.
This is the first in a series of two-part series on the global trade agenda.
Part one of the series: A look at trade, environment and global governance: A trade strategy for a global economy Part two of the two-parter: How trade and environment play a key role in international trade governance: How international trade policy can promote sustainable development and global peace Part three of the three-partseries: Understanding the trade policy landscape: Trade, environmental and international governance: Trade and environment: Global governance and international trade Part four of the six-partpartseries series: How global trade policy works: Understanding international trade policies and how they affect trade and environmental sustainability: What are the challenges?
What can we do to address them?
Part five of the five-part Series One series: The international trade landscape: How the world is trading and why it matters: Trade: Global trade and the future of trade: The world is moving towards a global trading system: The future of global trade: What’s at stake in trade?