World Trade Forum 2020 | The Future of Trade Policy and External Cooperation: is Soft Power Passé?

22-23 September 2020

Trade policy is back in the centre of policy attention. Trade conflicts among major economies have been growing. Large trading powers are considering long-held trade and investment policy stances. Political pressures are increasing to induce reshoring of global value chains to enhance ‘strategic autonomy’ and to use trade as a tool to pursue non-trade objectives. Instruments to address foreign subsidization, tax the digital economy and to use trade policy to help green the economy raise the prospects of further trade tensions. This year’s World Trade Forum brought together researchers and practitioners to reflect on recent developments and opportunities to bolster trade cooperation looking forward.

Video Recording and Presentations 

In the programme below you will find a video recording linked to the title of each session and a presentation linked to the name of each speaker (if a presentation was delivered).

22 September

9:50 – 11:30 | Plenary 1: Trade and Non-Trade Policy Objectives: Soft vs. Hard Power

Opening remarks
Bernard Hoekman | EUI and Joseph Francois | WTI

Chair: Manfred Elsig | WTI
Speakers:
Paola Conconi | ULB
Pamela Coke-Hamilton | UNCTAD/ITC
Junior Lodge | Independent Trade Consultant
Eduardo Pedrosa | PECC, Singapore

13.00 – 14.30 | Parallel Sessions

Panel A: China-EU-US Trade Relations: from Cooperation to Conflict… and back?

Chair: Jacques Pelkmans | CEPS
Speakers:
Zhang Xiangchen | Ambassador of China to the WTO
Tu Xinquan | UIBE
Weinian Hu | CEPS
Mary Lovely | PIIE

Panel B: Value Chains and Sustainability Footprints

Chair: Octavio Fernandez Amador |WTI University of Bern
Speakers:
Doris Oberdabernig | WTI University of Bern
Joseph Francois | WTI University of Bern
Patrick Tomberger |WTI University of Bern
Clara Brandi | German Development Institute

15:00 – 16:30 | Plenary 2: Trade Policy & Trade Wars: Back to the Past?

Chairs: Ernesto Zedillo | Yale and Patrick Messerlin | ECIPE
Speakers:
Anne Krueger | John Hopkins
Craig Vangrasstek | Harvard
Sebastien Jean | CEPII
André Sapir | Bruegel

23 September

10:00 – 11:30 | Plenary 3: The Multilateral Trading System: Game over?

Chair: Mia Horn Af Rantzien | SNS, Stockholm
Speakers:
Peter van den Bossche | WTI
Deborah Elms | Asian Trade Centre, Singapore
Bernard Hoekman | EUI
Peter Draper | University of Adelaide

12:00 – 13:00 | Partner Session: What Would Happen to a World without the WTO?

Chair: Pradeep Mehta | CUTS International
Speakers:
Bernd Lange |European Parliament/Chair, Committee on International Trade
Emily Jones | University of Oxford
Kimberley Botwright | Global Trade and Investment, World Economic Forum
Bipul Chatterjee | CUTS International

14.00 – 15.30 | Parallel Sessions

Panel C: Trade Integration and Policy Coherence

Chair: Jan-Yves Remy | University of West Indies
Speakers:
Miklos Koren | CEU
Kamala Dawar | Sussex
Laszlo Bruszt | CEU
San Bilal | ECDPM

Panel D: Introducing a New Database on Investment Treaties

Chair: Rodrigo Polanco | WTI
Speakers:
Wolfgang Alschner | University of Ottawa
Priyanka Kher | World Bank
Morr Link | Hebrew University
Anne-Marie Thow | University of Sydney

Plenary 4: COVID-19: Lessons for Trade Policy & Cooperation

Chair: Alan Winters | University of Sussex and UKTPO
Speakers:
Ken Ash | Independent Consultant (ex-OECD)
Caroline Freund | World Bank
Simon Evenett | GTA, University of St. Gallen
Sabine Weyand | European Commission

Video Recording Playlist

Background Papers by Session


Plenary 1: Trade and Non-Trade Policy Objectives: Soft vs. Hard Power

Panel A: China-EU-US Trade Relations: from Cooperation to Conflict… and back?

Panel B: Value Chains and Sustainability Footprints?

Plenary 2: Trade Policy &Trade Wars: Back to the Past?

The international Trading System Prostrated?
B. Hoekman and E. Zedillo | Introduction to upcoming Brookings press volume | 2021

Plenary 3: The Multilateral Trading System: Game over?

Panel C: Trade Integration and Policy Coherence

Panel D: Introducing a New Database on Investment Treaties

Plenary 4: COVID-19: Lessons for Trade Policy &Cooperation

COVID-19 Trade Policy Database: Food and Medical Products

This project is a partnership between the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies’ Global Governance Programme at the European University Institute, the University of St. Gallen’s Global Trade Alert initiative, and the Trade and Regional Integration unit of the World Bank Group
Find data, maps and methodology on trade policy changes affecting medical and food products since the beginning of 2020 on the project webpage here.

Partners


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