ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Current Thinking about Global Trade Policy

Presentations and discussions among academic experts at a recent international conference on trade policy suggested that the global slump, far from provoking major rethinking of core free market ideas has, if anything, reinforced their power in western economies and international economic organisations.

A whole industry is now in gear to construct global goals as successors to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), due to “expire” in 2015. The successors are to be called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While the expiring MDGs related to developing countries the SDGs are intended to apply to all countries.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Division on International Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities recently organised an international conference, “Enhancing Trade in the Post-2015 Deve­lopment Agenda” (9-10 December 2013), in Geneva to consider how to translate MDG 8 (an open, rule-based, non-discriminatory trade regime) into the post-2015 SDGs. Around 35 people participated over one and a half days. They included academic international trade economists from continental European and British universities; employees of or consultants to inter­national organisations like the World Trade Organisation (WTO), World Bank, and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), and ­Division of International Trade staff.

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