WITA Webinar: Can Managed Trade be Free Trade?




On Thursday, September 23, we discussed if a “less trade-restrictive” values-based trade policy can be achieved within a rules-based international trading system. We asked questions if trade policy should address legitimate social, humanitarian and environmental goals, and can it be done in a way that stays true to the non-discrimination principles of the original GATT Agreement? Can these objectives be achieved in a way that is consistent with the GATT Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, that they are not “more trade-restrictive than necessary to fulfill the legitimate objective[s]?”

WITA Event Featuring: 

Edward Alden, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations and Ross Distinguished Visiting Professor, Western Washington University; Author of the article, “Free Trade Is Dead. Risky ‘Managed Trade’ Is Here”

Uri Dadush, Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, and a non-resident scholar at Bruegel; author of the paper, The EU’s Carbon Border Tax is Likely to do More Harm than Good

Katrin Kuhlmann, President and Founder, New Markets Lab; Visiting Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

Sandra Polaski, Senior Research Scholar of the Global Economic Governance Initiative (GEGI), Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center; former Deputy Director-General for Policy of the International Labour Organization (ILO)

Moderator: Shawn Donnan, Senior Writer, Bloomberg


Edward Alden is Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the Council on Fore­­­ign Relations (CFR), specializing in U.S. economic competitiveness, trade, and immigration policy. He is the author of the book Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy, which focuses on the federal government’s failure to respond effectively to competitive challenges on issues such as trade, currency, worker retraining, education, and infrastructure.

Alden recently served as the project director of a CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force, co-chaired by former Michigan Governor John Engler and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, which produced the report The Work Ahead: Machines, Skills, and U.S. Leadership in the Twenty-First Century. In 2011, he was the project codirector of the Independent Task Force that produced U.S. Trade and Investment Policy. In 2009, he was the project director of the Independent Task Force that produced U.S. Immigration Policy.

Alden’s previous book, The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration, and Security Since 9/11, was a finalist for the Lukas Book Prize, for narrative nonfiction in 2009. The jury called Alden’s book “a masterful job of comprehensive reporting, fair-minded analysis, and structurally sound argumentation.”

Alden was previously the Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times, and prior to that was the newspaper’s Canada bureau chief, based in Toronto. He worked as a reporter at the Vancouver Sun and was the managing editor of the newsletter Inside U.S. Trade, widely recognized as a leading source of reporting on U.S. trade policies. Alden has won several national and international awards for his reporting. He has made numerous TV and radio appearances as an analyst on political and economic issues, including on the BBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, and PBS NewsHour. His work has been published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Fortune, the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Toronto Globe and Mail, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

Alden has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of British Columbia and a master’s degree in international relations from the University of California, Berkeley. He pursued doctoral studies before returning to a journalism career. Alden is the winner of numerous academic awards, including a Mellon fellowship in the humanities and a MacArthur Foundation graduate fellowship.

Uri Dadush is a non-resident scholar at Bruegel, based in Washington, DC and a Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South in Rabat, Morocco. He is also Principal of Economic Policy International, LLC, providing consulting services to international organizations as well as corporations. He teaches international trade policy at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland and a course on globalization and development in the executive education program of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) and the Mohammed VI Polytechnic. He is a co-chair of the Trade, Investment and Globalization Task-Force of the T20. He was Vice-Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Trade and Investment at the World Economic Forum. His books include “WTO Accessions and Trade Multilateralism” (with Chiedu Osakwe, co-editor), “Juggernaut: How Emerging Markets Are Transforming Globalization” (with William Shaw), “Inequality in America” (with Kemal Dervis and others), “Currency Wars” (with Vera Eidelman, co-editor) and “Paradigm Lost: The Euro in Crisis”.

Dadush was previously Director of the International Economics Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Director of International Trade, as well as Director of Economic Policy, and Director of the Development Prospects Group at the World Bank. Based previously in London, Brussels, and Milan, he spent 15 years in the private sector, where he was President of the Economist Intelligence Unit, Group Vice President of Data Resources, Inc., and a consultant with McKinsey and Co. His columns have appeared in the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Il Sole 24 Ore, and L’Espresso. He has a B.A. and M.A. in Economics from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University.

Katrin Kuhlmann is a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University Law Center and the President and Founder of the New Markets Lab. Her work focuses on the intersection between law and development, international economic law, trade and development, regional trade models, agricultural regulation and food security, comparative law, and international legal and regulatory reform; she is published widely and speaks frequently on these topics. Professor Kuhlmann is also a Senior Associate with the Global Food Security Project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a member of the Trade Advisory Committee on Africa of the Office of the United States Trade Representative, a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, and a representative on a number of boards and advisory boards. She has also served as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School and an international trade negotiator and has held senior positions at think tanks and non-profit organizations as well as practiced international law. Kuhlmann holds degrees from Harvard Law School and Creighton University and was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to study international economics.

Sandra Polaski has been both a policy maker and research expert on trade, labor and income distribution in the US and international contexts.  She served as the International Labor Organization (ILO) Deputy Director-General for Policy and before that headed the US Department of Labor’s International Labor Affairs Bureau.  She is currently affiliated with Boston University as a senior research scholar in the Global Economic Governance Initiative. She is also a member of the Independent Mexico Labor Expert Board, created by the US Congress to monitor and advise on Mexican labor policy in the context of the US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Shawn Donnan is a senior writer for Bloomberg News where he covers world trade and globalization across the organization’s many platforms from TV to Businessweek, the magazine. He joined Bloomberg in 2018 from the Financial Times where he served most recently as World Trade Editor. Prior to that Donnan was the FT’s World News Editor, coordinating the paper’s global coverage of economics and politics. He also worked as a correspondent and editor for the FT in Indonesia and Hong Kong, from where he edited the paper’s China coverage. He is a graduate of Boston University.