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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