John Farnell will be discussing this topic with Ignacio Garcia Bercero.
The World Trade Organisation, which oversees the multilateral trade system and adjudicates disputes between its members, is facing an existential crisis. It has failed to deliver major change over the past two decades, the United States under President Trump has disengaged from its work, its dispute settlement system has been suspended, and its future is in doubt. China and the European Union, the world’s largest international traders, each see themselves as champions of multilateralism determined to save and improve the rules-based international trading system under WTO.
Despite this common interest, however, they approach WTO reform with different priorities and divergent views on some fundamentals of economic management. At the beginning of a new decade of economic uncertainty, John Farnell will explore the degree of convergence and divergence between the Chinese and European positions on WTO reform and assess whether their differences can be bridged.
John Farnell is an Associate at the University of Oxford China Centre and a Senior Adviser at the EU-Asia Centre in Brussels.
Ignacio Garcia Bercero is Director at the European Commission responsible for bilateral trade relations with South Asia, South East Asia, Mediterranean and Middle East countries, Russia and the Eastern Neighbourhood, and a Visiting Fellow at St Antony's College.