Thursday, 24 July 2008

A Busy Week

I was extremely busy last week. First I was at the inaugural conference of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL), which was held in Geneva from July 15 to 17. The SIEL is the first global society for trade lawyers, and it was great to meet so many old friends there. I presented a paper on the Trade Barrier Investigation Mechanism of China, as part of the panel on China and the WTO. The full conference program is available here.

Hopping on the plane immediately after the conference, I flied to Macau for the Academy of International Trade Law organized by the IEEM. Taught by some of the leading scholars on trade law from around the world, this program is the best in this region and I always encourage promising young students to apply. To help students with financial difficulties, a limited number of scholarships are available for qualified applicants.

Right after I arrived in Hong Kong to take the ferry to Macau, the Panel in the China-Auto Parts case issued their highly-anticipated report. As I mentioned earlier in this blog, while the legal issues in the case are relatively straightforward, the more interesting question is how China would react to its first defeat in the WTO.

On the 21st, the day before I left Macau, trade ministers started a week of intensive negotiation at the WTO in Geneva. The main objective of this latest round of negotiation is to work out a new July (2008) package to conclude the DDA. While the WTO states that "the July 2008 package is a stepping stone on the way to concluding the Doha Round by the end of 2008", I doubt that we will see the end of Doha by the end of this year, especially with the result of the US presidential election is still up in the air and the Trade Promotion Authority has not been renewed. It is probably more realistic to aim for 2009, or 2010 as the end of Doha.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The working papers that will be presented at the Inaugural Conference of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL) in Geneva (July15-17) are gradually being uploaded to a dedicated "online proceedings" website at the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN), here. The conference itself has been heavily oversubscribed and so registration has been closed. The online proceedings will, however, allow those who are unable to attend with a comprehensive view of the issues that will be discussed.

Thanks to SSRN, one of SIEL's sponsors, for providing this service.