Trade Dialogues: The Past and Future on International Economic Law and WTO

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July 6, 2021

The Past and Future on International Economic Law and WTO

Victorious after World War II and the Cold War, the United States and its allies largely wrote the rules for international trade and investment. Yet, by 2020, it was the United States that became the great disrupter – disenchanted with the rules’ constraints. Paradoxically, China, India, Brazil, and other emerging economies became stakeholders in and, at times, defenders of economic globalization and the rules regulating it. The book entitled “Emerging Powers and the World Trading System” written by Gregory Shaffer explains how this came to be and addresses the micropolitics of trade law – what has been developing under the surface of the business of trade through the practice of law, which has broad macro implications. This book provides a necessary complement to political and economic accounts for understanding why, at a time of hegemonic transition where economic security and geopolitics assume greater roles, the United States challenged, and emerging powers became defenders, of the legal order that the United States created.

“‘Professor Shaffer's work eloquently illuminates a complex but vital subject – the law's power to shape a more inclusive model of transnational trade. By examining how and by whom the rules have been written and rewritten, he details the ways in which emerging economies such as Brazil, China, and India can spur the creation of capabilities needed to help to reform and rebuild the multilateral trading system, so that the benefits of trade accrue to all.”

- Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (2013–20) and Ambassador of Brazil to the WTO (2008–13)

Moderator: Anabel Gonzalez, WTO Deputy-Director General

Speaker: Gregory Shaffer, Chancellor's Professor University of California, Irvine School of Law 

Discussants: 

Jennifer Hillman, Professor, Georgetown University; 

Amrita Narlikar, Professor, Hamburg University;  

John Hancock, WTO Counsellor. 

Date: July 12, 2021

Time: 5pm to 6.15pm (Central European Time)

Zoom Registration: Click here