WTO reform and the crisis of multilateralism: A Developing Country Perspective
By Faizel Ismail
The WTO has not been able to recover since the collapse of the Doha Round in July 2008. Several ministerial conferences including the Buenos Aires meeting in December 2017 failed to reach agreement. The US Trump Administration launched a campaign to reform the WTO in 2018 and 2019. This book argues that the Trump Administration reform proposals have been much more aggressive and far-reaching than the Obama Administration before it, threatening to erode hard-won special and differential treatment rights of developing countries. By blocking the appointment of new Appellate Body members, the US has effectively paralysed the Appellate Body and deepened the crisis of the multilateral trading system. Developing countries have responded to the proposals and called for the WTO to be development-oriented and inclusive. This book provides a critical analysis of the US-led reform proposals and seeks to build a discourse around an alternative set of concepts or principles to guide the multilateral trading system based on fairness, solidarity, social justice, inclusiveness and sustainability.
Professor Faizel Ismail is the Director of the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at the University of Cape Town. He has a PhD in Politics from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom (2015); an MPhil in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex (1992); and BA and LLB Degrees from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg) in South Africa (1981 and 1985). He has served as the Ambassador Permanent Representative of South Africa to the WTO (2010-2014). As South Africa’s Chief Trade Negotiator, since 1994, he led the new democratic South Africa’s trade negotiations with the European Union (EU), Southern African Development Community (SADC), Southern African Customs Union (SACU), and several other bilateral trading partners including the US, India, and Brazil. He was also South Africa’s Special Envoy on the South Africa-USA AGOA negotiations between January 2015 and June 2016. Professor Ismail is a TIPS Research Fellow. He is the author of two books on the WTO: Mainstreaming Development in the WTO. Developing Countries in the Doha Round (2007) and Reforming the World Trade Organization. Developing Countries in the Doha Round (2009). He is an associate editor of the Journal of World Trade.
This book is published by the South Centre with support from Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies
Find other South Centre publications at: https://www.southcentre.int/publications-catalogues/