Richard Higgott discusses dissemination
of the Warwick Commission report (March 2008)
The Warwick Commission’s report, "The Multilateral Trade Regime: Which Way Forward?" was launched on 6 December 2007 at the World Trade Organization, in Geneva.
Since then, the Warwick Commission report has been discussed at meetings in:
- London, Chatham House
- London, House of Lords
- WTO Forum, Geneva
- CBI Conference, London
Washington DC - 4 and 5 March 2008
Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies
Commissioners attended the 1st Trans-Atlantic Economic Dialogue on the Multilateral Trade System, jointly organised by the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, The Center for Transatlantic Relations and The EU Framework 6 Network of Excellence on Global Governance, Regionalisation and Regulation. Led by the Chair of the Warwick Commission, the Hon. Pierre Pettigrew PC, Commissioners gave presentations in conference sessions on: the relationship between the USA, the EU and the WTO; the creation of a transatlantic marketplace; and the regulation of trade and finance. The conference brought together senior North American policymakers and trade analysts, business leaders, including the Chief Operating Officer of Alcoa Inc., journalists and academics.
The Centre for International Governance Innovation organised two meetings at which Commissioners presented the findings of their report. The first was a roundtable discussion involving politicians, policymakers, business leaders and academics and the second was a briefing for the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Warwick Commissioners outlined the five main challenges to the future health of global trade governance and introduced their recommendations in the areas of agenda setting, especially ‘critical mass’ decision-making, trade and development, and multilateralising preferential trade agreements. They also discussed the Commission’s proposal for a ‘reflection exercise’ to determine the future shape of the world trade regime. The presentations were followed by a roundtable discussion involving UK policymakers, business representatives and trade attachés.
Singapore - 4 April 2008
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University
The Roundtable discussion was attended by senior Singaporean politicians and policymakers, with the keynote address being given by Lee Yi Shyan, Minister of State for Trade and Industry. Other participants included See Chak Mun, Singapore's chief negotiator during the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations, leading academics and policymakers.
This day long symposium brought together Warwick Commissioners with trade policy practitioners and academic experts from a range of disciplines including economics, political science, law and philosophy to reflect on the challenges facing the WTO and to discuss recommendations of the Warwick Commission report.
- The presentations can be downloaded from The Centre for Public Policy website
- You can listen to a podcast interview with Commissioner Ann Capling discussing the WTO, the Multilateral Trade System and the Warwick Commission
Crawford School of Economics and Government, Australian National University
At this seminar Commissioners discussed the report with senior government officials, representatives from business and civil society organisations, trade diplomats, academics and journalists. There was a particularly lively discussion of the report’s recommendations for a move to ‘critical mass negotiations’. Australia’s Minister for Trade, the Honourable Simon Crean, opened the proceedings with a speech on Australia’s role in addressing the future of the multilateral trade system.
- Read the speech from the Hon Simon Crean MP
- Find out more from the Crawford School of Economics and Government website
Organised by the ECIPE and the EU Framework 6 Network of Excellence on Global Governance, Regionalisation and Regulation, the conference brought together senior EU policymakers, diplomats, European business representatives and academics to debate the Commission’s proposals on decision-making and agenda setting and the multilateralisation of preferential trading agreements.
Sciences-Po/Centre d’Études et des Recherches Internationales/GARNET
This seminar was attended by academics and students from Sciences-Po and discussed the Commission’s recommendations on decision-making and agenda setting, Aid for Trade and multilateralising preferential trade agreements.
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik
Hosted and organised by the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, participants in this roundtable included politicians, senior policymakers, academics, business representatives and diplomats. Knut Brünjes, Head of the Directorate of External Economic and Trade Policy in the German Ministry of Economics and Technology, acted as discussant, providing a critique of the Report, after a presention by Warwick Commissioners.
House of Lords, EU Sub-Committee - Economic and Financial Affairs, and International Trade
The European Union Committee called upon members of the Warwick Commission to give evidence as part of an inquiry into European Trade Policy. Professor Richard Higgott, Director of the Commission and Professor Simon Evenett were asked to comment on the relationship between current trade rules and fairness, justice and development; the Dispute Settlement Mechanism; EU Preferential Trade Agreements; Special and Differential Treatment; and Aid for Trade.
WTO Forum – “Trading into the Future”
The Warwick Commission panel discussion focussed on the strategies for implementing the recommendations of its Report. In a well-attended, and lively, debate Commissioners led by Pierre Pettigrew concentrated on the impact of the developing financial and economic crisis on world trade, the importance of the link between trade and development, the challenge of preferentialism, and the reform of procedures for agenda-setting and decision-making at the WTO – primarily the introduction of ‘critical mass’ decision-making and a relaxation of the Single Undertaking.
Warwick Commission-Confederation of British Industry Conference
Sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council to promote a dialogue between the Warwick Commission and British industry and business, the conference was Chaired by Richard Lambert, Director-General of the CBI, and the keynote address was given by Gareth Thomas MP, Secretary of State for Trade. The Minister outlined UK Government thinking on the prospects for multilateral trade in the light of the failure to conclude the Doha Round and the growing economic crisis while Warwick Commissioners discussed the major recommendations in their Report. The panel of speakers then discussed the Report and the issues raised by the Minister with delegates from major UK and international corporations, the diplomatic corps and policymakers.