The members of the Global Trade & Innovation Policy Alliance (GTIPA), a network of over 40 think tanks in 26 nations, have come together to articulate a positive vision that trade, globalization, and innovation—if conducted on private enterprise-led, market-based, rules-governed terms—can maximize welfare for the world’s citizens (GTIPA, 2017). The members of the GTIPA believe the World Trade Organization (WTO) can play a critical role as a forum for the establishment of rules that enable global trade to occur in a free, fair, and market-oriented manner in accordance with the foundational principles of national treatment, nondiscrimination, transparency, and reciprocity and serves as a forum for the (ideally) impartial, rules-based, and timely adjudication of trade disputes among member nations. A well-functioning WTO is indispensable to a well-functioning international economy. Unfortunately, the WTO is an increasingly constrained organization: It has failed to deliver any new significant trade-liberalizing agreements since the original Information Technology Agreement (ITA) in 1996, progress on the Doha Round remains interminably stalled, and the Appellate Body (AB) system appears broken. Perhaps most worryingly, some nations, particularly China, have elected to embrace economic and trade strategies and policies that are fundamentally antithetical and inconsonant with their WTO commitments, with the WTO proving powerless to effectively intercede. This monograph—authored by a subset of GTIPA members—explores the leading challenges facing the WTO and offers a number of policy recommendations for how to address them.


To read the full report from the Global Trade and Innovation Policy Alliance, please click here.