Open to the Public
The Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs program on Power, Wealth, and Global Political Economy presents Dr. Robert Koopman and “The Value of the World Trade Organization in a World of Geo-Economic Fragmentation.”
The World Trade Organization (WTO) – an institution formed to increase multilateral cooperation on rules for conducting business across borders – is facing major challenges from both within and without.
From within, its largest member and arguably its main founder, the United States, has significantly limited one of the three major functions of the institution, its binding dispute resolution process, and has been reluctant to engage with the many other WTO members interested in improving and updating the institution.
From without, we are starting to see increased fragmentation of global trade along geo-economic lines. Rather than one set of rules and open trading opportunities for all WTO members we are seeing increasing trade within geo-economic blocs.
What is the value of the WTO? What are the potential costs from geo-economic fragmentation of an institution and system that has played an important role in boosting economic growth and reducing global poverty?
Dr. Koopman has had a long and distinguished career in economics research, trade policy, and public service, including serving at the WTO as Chief Economist and Director of the Economic Research and Statistics Division from 2014 to 2022 and at the US International Trade Commission as Chief Economist and Chief Operating Officer from 1999 to 2014. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Boston College and is currently Hurst Distinguished Professorial Lecturer at the School of International Service at American University.
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