Academic journal article Proceedings of the Annual Meeting-American Society of International Law

The Proliferation of Regional Trade Agreements: (Re-)Shaping the Trade Landscape with Multilateralism on Pause

Academic journal article Proceedings of the Annual Meeting-American Society of International Law

The Proliferation of Regional Trade Agreements: (Re-)Shaping the Trade Landscape with Multilateralism on Pause

Article excerpt

This panel was convened at 9:00 am, Saturday, April 6, by its moderator, Mark Wu of Harvard Law School, who introduced the panelists: Michael Moore, New Zealand Ambassador to the United States, former WTO Director General, and former New Zealand Prime Minister; Kenneth Smith Ramos, Head of the Trade and NAFTA Office of the Ministry of Economic of Mexico; Jeffrey Louis, Director of Economic Policy and Trade, World Bank; and Susan Schwab, Mayer Brown LLP; former U.S. Trade Representative.

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS BY MARK WU

Good morning. Thank you all for coming out on an early Saturday morning to discuss a very exciting trend that has happened over the course of the last decade, but particularly exciting in light of the developments of the last year, and that is the proliferation of regional trade agreements and what this means for the multilateral system as it has stalled.

We have an expert panel here who will share their views with respect to this question. Before I introduce the panel, I want to note that each of the panelists will be speaking in a personal capacity and not on behalf of their government or their institution, and each of them will be speaking for about 10 minutes. We are going to have a roundtable discussion afterwards, and then we will open it up for questions.

Let me start by introducing Ambassador Susan Schwab. I think many of you will know that she was the former U.S. Trade Representative from 2006 to 2009. In that position she was responsible for a number of free trade agreements--Colombia, Korea, Oman, Panama, Peru--as well as for launching the Trans-Pacific Partnership. She currently serves as the Professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland where she was the former Dean of the School of Public Policy as well as a Strategic Advisor to Mayer Brown, and she is also on the board of a number of different companies, including Caterpillar, FedEx, and Boeing.

To my left is Kenneth Smith Ramos. Ken is the head of the Trade and NAFTA Office of the Ministry of Economy for the government of Mexico. He was formerly the lead agricultural trade negotiator for Mexico in his role as the Coordinator General of the SAGARPA and then served in a number of different roles, as Director-General for the Mexican FCC, for the Ministry of Economy, and so forth.

To his left is Ambassador Michael Moore. He is the former Director-General of the World Trade Organization. He oversaw the launch of the Doha Round itself, which we will be discussing today in terms of its interactions with the regional trade agreements. He also oversaw the conclusion of 10 different accessions of members to the WTO, the most significant of which is that of the People's Republic of China. He is the former Labor Prime Minister of New Zealand, has held a number of different roles in the New Zealand government such as Finance Minister, Trade Minister, not to mention several other posts, and currently serves as the New Zealand Ambassador to the United States.

Last but not least, we have Jeffery Lewis, who is the Director of Economic Policy and Trade for the World Bank's Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, or PREM network. He spent over 20 years at the World Bank in various capacities, including serving as a Senior Advisor to the PREM Vice President, as Advisor to the Office of Chief Economist, and as a Manager for the International Finance Team in the Development Prospects Group. We had an interesting conversation about how that links all the way back to what had happened over the course of the Asian financial crisis and so forth, and now watching a whole series of different developments occurring in the Pacific Rim and thinking about what these developments now will mean for developing countries around the world.

Before we begin, I want to acknowledge our two organizers of this panel, Daniel Behar of the Office of U.S. Trade Representative, as well as Luis Aguilar, for putting together this wonderful panel. …

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