Saving multilateralism: the G20, the WTO, and world trade

Business Australia

The multilateral trading system, an important contributor to global peace and prosperity, is in trouble.  This paper argues that its time for G20 Leaders to work harder to save it.

Key findings:

  • Since the second half of the twentieth century, the multilateral trading system has facilitated the growth of world trade and hence global prosperity.
  • That system is in trouble. Symptoms of its distress include the longstanding failure to complete the Doha Round, the growth in ‘murky protectionism’ and a shift to preferential deals, including prospective mega-regionals.
  • International trade should be at the core of the G20’s mandate to deliver strong, sustainable and balanced growth. It is time for leaders to reverse the slide of trade down the G20 agenda and make a commitment to save the multilateral system.
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