2013-05-14 Challenges Facing the WTO and Its New Chief
    2013-05-13 17:36:04     CRIENGLISH.com         Web Editor: Chen Cong




The World Trade Organization, or WTO, an international body responsible for supervising and liberalizing international trade, has come under mounting pressure as many of the world's trade powers seek protect their home industries under bleak economic conditions.

But protectionism is by no means the only problem currently putting WTO officials to the test; the rise of bilateral and regional Free Trade Areas has led to global trading powers becoming more inclined to negotiate their own trade terms, sometimes at the cost of exploiting the WTO. The United States, for instance, has pushed for the crystallization of the TPP as part of its efforts to assert its dominance in the Asia-Pacific Region. Additionally, the world's two largest trade giants, the U.S. and the European Union, are now discussing establishing a FTA across the Atlantic.

The WTO is now facing the growing challenge that its international clout may be gradually eroded by these trade pacts. Moreover, prospects for the revival of the Doha Round of Trade talks remains bleak. These issues may continue to hound the WTO's newly-elected director-general Roberto Carvalho de Azevedo as the Brazilian Diplomat takes over the organization after outgoing director-general Pascal Lamy steps down this August.

So how can the WTO better cope with its challenges? And what kind of changes do we expect Roberto Azevedo, the new Secretary General of the WTO, to bring to the organization?

Ni hao, you're listening to  People In the Know, bringing you insights into the headline news in China and around the world, I'm Zheng Chenguang in Beijing.

We will speak to Tu Xinquan, Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the China Institute for WTO Studies at the University of International Business and Economics, Debra P. Steger, Professor of Law, at the University of Ottawa and Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, and Claire Wright, Associate Professor of Law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law based in San Diego, California in the U.S.
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