The Prospects for a Rules-Based Trade and Investment Order
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For some years the international trading system established in the shape of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development-led (OECD) World Trade Organisation (WTO) has been undergoing a progressive change. This has been driven by an extension of trade rules into what used to be the domain of domestic regulatory policies and by a diffusion of market power away from the OECD-Club.
The established order now faces challenges. The WTO has made no real progress largely due to the difficulties differentiating between WTO members according to their level of development and there is no domestic consensus on new rules (especially in some leading OECD economies). The recent reversion to power based trade policies on the part of the United States has precipitated a crisis in the WTO. So what are the prospects for a rules-based trade and investment system?