Reinvigorating the WTO as a Negotiating Forum

By Junji Nakagawa, Sait Akman, Axel Berger, Eduardo Bianchi, Manjiao Chi, Uri Dadush, Jean Dong, Gabriel Felbermayr, Andreas Freytag, Anabel Gonzalez, Bernard Hoekman, David Laborde, Sandra Rios, Sabyasachi Saha, Claudia Schmucker, Akihiko Tamura, and Mark Wu


The multilateral trading system is on the verge of a crisis arising from, among others, the dysfunction of the WTO as a forum for trade liberalization and trade related rule-making. The G20 should tackle with this challenge in a proactive and innovative manner by reinvigorating the WTO as a forum for negotiation. Possible policy options include multilateral agreements with multi-speed implementation, plurilateral agreements and critical mass agreements, but priority should be on multilateral agreements with multi-lanes. Possible themes for such negotiations can be e-commerce and investment facilitation.