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Multilateral Trading System in Crisis: An Examination of the WTO

  • 2168 Rayburn House Office Building (map)

After World War II, the United States was a primary architect of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which set the stage for the multilateral rules-based trading system that ultimately became the World Trade Organization. For more than 70 years, this system has served American and global interests well. Despite these successes, the system currently faces its most serious challenge since its inception.

In recent years, the WTO’s multilateral trade negotiations have largely stalled. Meanwhile, China’s unique brand of state-driven capitalism poses unique challenges to the rules-based system. Finally, the Trump administration has flouted WTO rules to impose unilateral tariffs on products originating from numerous countries. The White House also continues to block new appointments to the WTO’s Appellate Body, the highest global court for resolving trade disputes, and routinely threatens to withdraw the United States from the system.

In conjunction with the release of R Street’s new policy study examining the current state of the WTO—including the challenges it faces as well as the overwhelmingly positive benefits that the United States accrues from its membership—we invite you to a luncheon where these topics will be explored in greater detail.

FEATURING

Clark Packard
Trade Policy Counsel, R Street Institute

Simon Lester
Associate Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute

(More guests to be added)