Join getAbstract to access the summary!

The High and Low Politics of Trade

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

The High and Low Politics of Trade

Can the World Trade Organization’s Centrality Be Restored in a New Multi-Tiered Global Trading System?

World Economic Forum,

5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Can the World Trade Organization remain central to modern trade governance?

auto-generated audio
auto-generated audio

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


The World Trade Organization (WTO) is losing its position as the center of global trade governance. Without its leadership, regional trade agreements have taken over. Many “formerly dominant” nations are concerned that current global trade rules largely benefit emerging economies, but developing countries insist that poverty and food security should remain top priorities. The World Economic Forum presents a strong argument for a return to WTO centrality. getAbstract recommends this nuanced, multidimensional report to government and corporate policy-makers.


In the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade era, international trade governance only required liberalization, rule writing and dispute settlement. The World Trade Organization (WTO) was competent in these three undertakings; unfortunately, world trade is no longer so simple. Society has emerged from an era of “made-here, sold-there” goods to an era of wildly integrated global value chains (GVCs).

Today, services and intellectual property also cross borders. Trade and investment, traditionally considered domestic welfare, or “...

About the Author

The World Economic Forum is an international, nonprofit organization devoted to improving the world through public-private cooperation.

Comment on this summary