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MORICI: With reforms, the WTO is worth saving

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18.06.2020

Director-General Roberto Azevedo is quitting one year before his term expires.

This could prove the death knell for the World Trade Organization but if the Trump administration plays it right, the global trade body could be set on a more constructive path.

President Trump’s pugnacious policies — including tariffs on allies as well as malefactors like China — leave American diplomats bare handed during the COVID-19 crisis. Beijing is using its considerable soft power to push its agenda to remake liberal international economic institutions in the image of its authoritarian models of governance and economics, while America has few willing friends.

During the Bush and Obama years, China ran circles around WTO rules — it shrewdly built massive legal firepower to contest western complaints against its illiberal practices. In the process, it built huge dollar reserves to finance its Belt and Road initiative and grab a choke hold on important production of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.

China offers assistance around the world to strapped nations combatting COVID-19, while America scrambles for supplies. And it seeks to impose tributary relationships to squash........

© Edmonton Sun


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