6 Mar 2019
Seminars, 16:00 - 18:00, Silva Casa Auditorium
Strengthening and Modernizing the World Trade Organization
Stephen de Boer, Canada's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO, delivered a lecture to a full house at the WTI on Wednesday. His seminar was a part of the WTI's Global Economic Governance Seminar Series.
This lecture was followed by an apéro at the WTI, sponsored by the Embassy of Canada to Switzerland.
Despite clear evidence that trade has contributed to unprecedented global prosperity and development, the rules and institutions that facilitate trade seem increasingly fragile. The structural transformation of the global economy, combined with technological change, has disrupted national economies and societies. The resulting insecurity and inequality have led to growing concern that the benefits of trade have not been shared fairly and that the existing rules no longer reflect a fair balance of rights and obligations. These pressures exacerbate existing differences among Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in their need, capacity or willingness to take on new commitments. This combination of disruption and paralysis has begun to erode respect for rules-based trade, and the institutions that govern it, paving the way for trade-distorting policies.
In this context, action to restore confidence in the multilateral trading system and discourage protectionist measures and counter-measures will require leadership, creativity and patience. For this reason, Canada is working with an alliance of Members to engage in a deliberate and transparent process to develop a progressively broader consensus on how to strengthen the WTO and modernize the trade rules. Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization Stephen de Boer will discuss the current state of WTO reform and a number of pragmatic and realistic actions which Canada believes can modernize and strengthen the WTO.