Category Archives: Governance

The ‘next trading system’

A series of tweets prompt­ed by the emp­ty argu­ment and spe­cious results of the Decem­ber, 2017, WTO Min­is­te­r­i­al meet­ing. Even­tu­al­ly, this must end. With what? Not, I hope, with rad­i­cal change: I sug­gest Chesterton’s Fence is the right approach to sys­tem redesign.   I argue for more humil­i­ty, par­si­mo­ny and dura­bil­i­ty in the sys­tem of […]

Trade blocs world

We will soon see the cre­ation of the first glob­al-scale trade-blocs: exclu­sive inter­na­tion­al trade zones. What will it be like? The short answer (if you want to stop read­ing here) is: the direct eco­nom­ic impact will be rather mod­est but the blocs will be a dis­as­ter for rules-based WTO trad­ing sys­tem. That could have much […]

Draft history of ICC: final chapters

Last year, I com­plet­ed the man­u­script of a cen­ten­ni­al his­to­ry of the Inter­na­tion­al Cham­ber of Com­merce (ICC). It’s a long work: 400 pages, more or less. It will be only the sec­ond his­to­ry of this remark­able insti­tu­tion. The first was pub­lished in 1938. ICC com­mis­sioned the his­to­ry in 2013, but has recent­ly decid­ed to wait […]

The Wallenbergs at the ICC

Peter Wal­len­berg, the scion of the great Swedish fam­i­ly of bankers and indus­tri­al­ists, died on 19 Jan­u­ary aged 88. Among his many achieve­ments was to lead the Inter­na­tion­al Cham­ber of Com­merce (ICC) dur­ing the most dif­fi­cult peri­od for busi­ness in the late 20th Cen­tu­ry. Here is a sum­ma­ry of the sto­ry. There’s a lit­tle more […]

Is a plurilateral the ‘way out’ for WTO on agriculture?

Q: under what cir­cum­stances would a crit­i­­cal-mass (CM) pluri­lat­er­al agree­ment on agri­cul­ture be a way “out of the mess” in the WTO agri­cul­ture nego­ti­a­tions? A: any CM pluri­lat­er­al works as a “way out” of the WTO stale­mate where it offers a degree of ben­e­fits to the mem­bers of the pluri­lat­er­al agree­ment such that they were […]