29 Sep 2010

WTI-NCCR researchers host sessions at WTO Public Forum 2010

WTI faculty members and NCCR-Trade Co-Leaders Pierre Sauvé (WP2 - Preferential Trade) and Marion Panizzon (WP4 - Trade, Development and Migration) hosted two very well attended sessions at the World Trade Organization's Public Forum 2010 in Geneva on September 17th.

The session chaired by WTI Deputy Managing Director and Director of Studies Pierre Sauvé, entitled "Much Ado About What? Do Preferential Trade Agreements Create Trade?", presented the preliminary findings of work underway in the NCCR-Trade Regulation project he directs on preferential  trade. Presentations were made on the trade impact of the economic crisis and the influence that membership in a preferential trade agreement (PTA) exerts on the magnitude of the observed trade effects (by Michael Gasiorek from the Centre for the Analysis of Regional Integration at the University of Sussex - CARIS); on the influence of PTAs on the evolution and nature of vertical specialization patterns in global trade and investment (by Javier Lopez Gonzalez from CARIS), as well as the trade creating properties of PTAs featuring comprehensive disciplines on services (by Anirudh Shingal from the World Trade Institute, University of Bern). Bernard Hoekman, who heads the Trade Department at the World Bank, served as discussant.

WTI Assistant Professor Marion Panizzon organized a session in partnership with the American Society of International Law's International Economic Law Interest Group. The session, entitled, "The Role of the G20 in WTO Governance" explored how the global geography of power had shifted from the G8 to G20 in the wake of the recent financial crisis and what such a shift portends for global governance, including in the trade field. The session heard concerns voiced over the political legitimacy of the G20, given its limited membership and the yet global impact of its decisions. Panel members concurred that while the G20 seeks to broaden its reach beyond the financial sector to the world economy more broadly, it has achieved little to date in this regard, particularly when it comes to moving the WTO agenda forward.The session was chaired by Sungjoon Cho, from the Chicago Kent School of Law and featured presentations by Marion Panizzon (WTI/University of Bern), Doaa Abdel Motaal, from the WTO Director General's Cabinet, Claire Kelly, from Brooklyn Law School, as well as Carolyn Deere-Birkbeck from the Global Economic Governance Program at the University of Oxford.

For more information on the sessions and an audio podcast of discussions held in both sessions, see