After 15 years the WTO is not functioning as envisioned and is faced with many new trade challenges − climate change, terrorism, pandemics, genetically modified organisms, food safety − which it is ill-equipped to handle. Conflict, Chaos and Confusion sheds light on this deep and acute crisis, focusing on contentious and complex new trade issues and how they will affect international trade in the future.
William Kerr demonstrates that there is no obvious way forward out of the current antagonistic climate. In the absence of any constructive initiatives the system appears chaotic. Everyone from seasoned trade policy veterans, business people engaging in international transactions, to domestic politicians and voters seem confused and apprehensive given the complexity of the problems brought by globalization. In just over a decade, the WTO has gone from an institution that was imbued with considerable optimism to one in deep crisis. The author explores in detail the major issues confronting the international trading system that have hitherto not enjoyed a great deal of attention. He provides insights that will inform the debate and discounts some of the simplistic solutions that are all too often proffered.
Informative, accessible and thought provoking, this book combines economic analysis with law, political science and institutional development within an historical context. As such, it will prove a fascinating read for a wide ranging audience encompassing academics and students of economics, international economics and international law, trade officials in both governments and NGOs, as well as trade policymakers in developing and developed countries.