The multi-lateral approach has recently slowed down due to uncertainty about the direction of trade policy under the current U.S. administration and domestic resistance. As a result, the TTIP and TISA negotiations are currently frozen. The United States also withdrew from the recently negotiated TPP. And it was only possible to enter into provisional force of the Canada-European CETA because certain provisions require ratification by national parliaments. First, mega-contracts have allowed multinationals to operate abroad even more freely and on an equal footing with local businesses. They then aim to dismantle national rules and implement a complete privatisation of public services – irreversibly. The “click” clause is precisely what hinders any reversal of privatization and deregulation. In the WTO negotiations, developing countries and emerging economies are increasingly opposed to unilateral liberalization efforts that benefit the rich North. As a result, efforts have been made to conclude regional and sectoral trade agreements in which a group of “consenting” countries agree on trade rules. Unlike the multilateral approach, which involves all WTO countries and applies the principle of consistency, these processes do not force the poorest countries to oppose the poorest countries. Ambassador Lighthizer recently revived a topic that scientists have discussed in the past, but which has generally not been the subject of political debate in the United States – whether the continuation of regional or multilateral agreements poses a threat to the multilateral trading system. He did so with a biblical reference in calling the European Commission a Pharisee for the defence of multilateralism and the exercise of bilateralism.
What is remarkable is that this government, despite little evidence, with the exception of the vice-president, liked to use the Bible as an accessory that each of them had actually read it. The ambassador receives points to remember his Catholic upbringing, and he is right about his characterization of European hypocrisy, but his next argument, that we should not have both at the same time and that we must vote instead, is more complex. Let`s consider the arguments for and stupid. Although multilateral trade agreements are binding only on signatory countries, they also have an effect on third countries, as they will govern most international trade rules in the future. Economic diplomacy researcher Asmita Parshotam unpacks our latest study on multilateral trade agreements (EPA) and why reception is limited among developing countries. If you believe in the theory of commercial cycling — if you don`t pedal more, the bike collapses — you want to move forward — keep the bike moving — and right now it means multilateral. But the irony is that we can be caught in a loop. We use the multilateral system because multilateral negotiations do not seem feasible, but the plurilaterals themselves make the broader negotiations less attractive. Public Eye is convinced that the multilateral approach cannot lead to a fairer form of international trade and that it also carries risks, especially for the poorest sections of society. Finally, there is the argument that all of this makes no difference, because there is virtually no real choice. The Doha Round has failed and is unlikely to return. A fisheries agreement remains a possibility, as is an agreement on e-commerce, but these are problematic and far more limited than the Tokyo round or the Uruguay Round agreements or what the Doha Round should be.
The argument that the plurilateral does not undermine the trading system consists of two parts.