Göttingen Conference on Preferential Trade Agreements and World Economic Order
Presentation by Charlotte Sieber-Gasser and Anirudh Shingal (WTI)
Anirudh Shingal and Charlotte Sieber-Gasser both participated in the Göttingen Conference on Preferential Trade Agreements and World Economic Order in March 2014, and presented their research. The conference brought together scholars from different disciplines and explored and highlighted numerous aspects of the relationship between Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) and the global trading system.
Anirudh Shingal contributed to setting the scene and also provided a brief overview of the economics literature on the relationship between preferentialism and multilateralism. After presenting several stylized facts on PTAs, including services agreements, he also spoke about the economic effects of trade agreements in general: the Vinerian trade creation and trade diversion effects, market and scale effects, and the welfare effects from deep integration.
Charlotte Sieber-Gasser contributed to summing up the conference with a presentation on the dynamic relationship between preferentialism and multilateralism. With two case-studies on the evolution of IP regulation and services trade regulation, it was illustrated that the two forces remain in close interaction throughout history. However, arguably a new element has recently joined the stage: the mega-regional agreements, or so to say, minilateralism. Currently, trade negotiations are simultaneously taking place at multiple levels: the preferential level, the plurilateral, the minilateral level, and the multilateral level. While this poses a challenge to regulatory coherence and coordination between different regulatory layers, it is also a unique opportunity for the global trading system.