Poles of the trading system

Evenett, like many other analysts, has been thinking about why it is so difficult to reach agreements in the WTO negotiations. One of the reasons that most cite is the dilution of the ‘polarity’ of global trade in the second-half of last century with the growth of ‘multi-polar’, globalized, markets. The distribution of power and influence in the management of the trading system in WTO is not always aligned with the distribution of market power.

Now, what if we add the Russian Federation to the ‘potential poles’ list, as I have done in the table below? Russia looks likely to join WTO in the next year (or so). A smaller economy than China or India but roughly the size of Brazil; a bit wealthier than Brazil and with twice the global trade presence, but; with no more reciprocal trade negotiation experience than any of the others.

Does ‘four poles’ make a more stable platform for the global trade framework?


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