Issues in Brief, No. 1, April 2008
The Future of the WTO
By Kevin Gallagher
Spring 2008 (8 pages)
This policy brief – the first in the Pardee Center Series titled “Issues in Brief” – reviews the current debates about the future of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and looks at why current discussions on international trade and development are stalled and also on what the implication of this stalemate might be on the longer-term future of the WTO, and of trade and development in general.
The paper concludes that: “One hopes the WTO will survive this crisis and that five years from now — and 35 years from now — there will be a WTO. Its work is not finished and there is much that it can contribute to global development. To do so, however, it will need to realign itself to its stated development goals. To survive — indeed, to thrive — it needs to redefine itself as a development institution. That will be good for the WTO, good for the future of global development, good for developing countries, and indeed good for industrialized countries.”
Kevin Gallagher is an Associate Professor of International Relations at Boston University and a Faculty Fellow at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future.