Contents

Headlines

US objections threaten deadlock over next WTO director-general

‘Troika’ announced Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had broadest support, but US refused to join consensus
October 28, 2020, updated October 29, 2020

Is the WTO choosing a saviour? Or a butler?
The 40-year record of previous office-holders shows how limited the WTO chief’s powers really are
June 8; July 23, 2020

Four years on, still basic mistakes on tariffs at the very top of UK politics
A lack of basic understanding by Johnson, the chair of a key committee and a leading journalist September 18, 2020


Will ‘Melton Mowbray’ and ‘Stilton’ continue to be protected in the EU with no deal?

The UK has agreed to keep EU names protected, but what about UK names in the EU? August 29, 2020


Dispute settlement in crisis, but …

Since December 2019 the WTO Appellate Body has been forced into a deep freeze
August 21, 2019; May 3, 2020
Short: By Christmas 2019 the WTO was supposed to be dead — why wasn’t it?
Long: A bit of bother down at the WTO court: Is it a killer?
Stop-gap: Arbitration, an alternative way to appeal August 3, 2020

… the WTO does more than disputes

Reminders for those who think the crisis is dragging trade into the law of the jungle
December 11, 2019; January 1 & 17, 2020

Keeping international trade within agreed rules relies on much more than dispute settlement

The WTO is surprisingly busy — considering it’s supposed to be dead


What have the UK and Switzerland agreed on trade post-Brexit?

Mainly from Swiss government information, prepared for Swiss companies
February 5; February 11, 2019

What’s really happening on tariff quotas and Britain’s WTO commitments?
September 9 & 12, 2018, updated

What’s happening?
What comments?
Beginners’ guide

‘WTO terms’ will apply in all future UK-EU trade. But how much?

A sliding scale of trade barriers
Summary
Part 1: WTO terms
Part 2: goods
Part 3: services and more
May 27, 2020

Primers

The WTO and implications for the UK, EU, Brexit
and international trade policy

These posts explain the WTO, how it works, its member-driven structure, and the UK’s and EU’s relationship with it.

How the WTO works graphic
Key functions: all handled by the WTO’s membership

Real beginners’ guides

Tariffs and the WTO
July 28, 2018
Tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) and the WTO
September 9, 2018
GATT Article 24
June XXIV, MMXIX

UK’s WTO membership

Will the UK have to re-join? (No)
October 7, 2017
Tariff quotas and Britain’s WTO commitments
September 12, 2018
Older archived version
October 7; November 21, 2017

Distortion of war

‘Do trade deals to escape the WTO.’ So why bother with it?
Weaponising the WTO is the worst way to understand the trading system we rely on
February 7, 2019

Tariff war?

Spot the difference: US tariffs on Scotch are not part of a tariff war
BBC Question Time was wrong about tariffs. It matters.
February 15, 2020

More on the WTO below

On Brexit

Brexit and WTO commitments, WTO rules, free trade agreements,
Brexit more generally, presentations and evidence

Brexit and WTO commitments
Brexit and WTO rules
Free trade agreements, UK and EU relations

Types of agreement

Types of a possible future UK-EU trade deal. By Alan Swinbank, Reading University
January 10, 2017

In a nutshell: Brexit and the UK’s trading relations with the EU. Five graphics summarising the four main options — September 19, 2016

Brexit generally

Media

Opinion: Brexit challenges the meaning of ‘political’ reporting. The problem isn’t just about quoting unnamed sources. It’s about what’s reported in the name of ‘politics’
October 27, 2019

If we’re to understand the Brexit talks, the media must do better than this
April 1, 2017

Alternative thinking

‘Don’t negotiate. Announce.’ Clemens Boonekamp thinks outside the box on Brexit
February 12, 2017

Older

Six things I’ve learnt since the Brexit referendum: seeing both the wood and the trees
January 9, 2017
Three thoughts on the Brexit referendum.
June 29, 2016

Presentations and evidence

Parliament

External links:
Global trade policy response to COVID-19 pandemic: a enquiry of the Commons International Trade Committee.

1. Video (Soumaya Keynes, Marianne Petsinger, Simon J. Evenett, Alan Wolff, Peter Ungphakorn)
2. Transcript page and direct link (html, pdf)
3. Written evidence
June 5, 2020

.

Questions on Brexit, agriculture, WTO schedules, standards, free trade agreements. Lords’ EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee. Plus video of Alan Matthews, Joseph McMahon
February 9, 2017
Brexit, agriculture, the WTO, and uncertainty. Lords’ EU External Affairs, Brexit Sub-Committee
October 22, 2016

‘Do trade deals to escape the WTO.’ So why bother with it? “Westminster Workshop” on parliamentary oversight of trade agreements. Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, London
February 7, 2019

Others

Caught up in a war — the WTO and Brexit. What does leaving the EU ‘on WTO terms’ mean? A presentation for Chatham House on some of the implications
March 11; April 6, 2019

UK, EU & WTO. A presentation For LSE’s Executive Master in Public Administration programme
May 25, 2017

On Switzerland

Trade

What have the UK and Switzerland agreed on trade post-Brexit?
February 5; June 29, 2019; March 3, 2020

On THE WTO AND TRADE

Dispute settlement, policy and negotiation,
amendments and commitments

Dispute settlement

It’s working

How the WTO deals with problem trade measures—it’s not just dispute settlement
The Appellate Body is in a deep freeze, but those who think it will drag trade into the law of the jungle are in for a surprise
December 11, 2019; updated

The WTO is surprisingly busy — considering it’s supposed to be dead
January 17, 2020

VIDEO: The WTO and the global trading system (Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation, YouTube, 54 mins)
— Adam Posen, Vince Cable, Stuart Harbinson, Peter Ungphakorn, David Tinline
June 10, 2020

Authorised retaliation

Spot the difference: US tariffs on Scotch are not part of a tariff war
BBC Question Time was wrong about tariffs. It matters.
February 15, 2020

Policy and negotiations

Behind the rhetoric

‘Public stockholding for food security’ in the WTO
Controversial. Not what it seems. And not the only way to create emergency food stocks in poorer countries. How essential is it?
August, 24, 2020

.

Does the WTO need a third ‘safeguard’ against import surges?
It scuppered an acrimonious WTO negotiation in 2008, but it never went away: the “special safeguard mechanism”
August 30, 2020

Director-General

US objections threaten WTO deadlock over its next director-general
‘Troika’ announced Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had broadest support, but US refused to join consensus
October 28, 2020

Is the World Trade Organization choosing a saviour? Or a butler?
June 8; July 23, 2020

Agriculture

The 20-year saga of the WTO agriculture negotiations
March 23, 2020

Who put the boot into Canadian dairy and why? By Robert Wolfe and Peter Ungphakorn
May 25, 2017

On negotiations, G20

Book review: How ‘Dialogue of the Deaf’ produced a sound tool for policy-making
Negotiators, on how they concluded the WTO’s ground-breaking intellectual property agreement
August 26, 2016
How seriously should we view G20 words on resisting protectionism?
Record doesn’t match rhetoric
Updated September 6, 2016

WTO amendments and commitments

Header photo: Norway reflections by David Mark from Pixabay, CC0