Thursday, 9 May 2019

World Trade

World trade fell at the end of last year as imports to and exports from China plummeted, a sign that higher tariffs and the threat of more to come are cooling global economic growth.The figures showed that late last year, U.S. efforts to revamp its trade relationships were increasingly disrupting the global trading system and the cross-border production lines that businesses have built over recent decades.

Webb will begin his new position in New Orleans in June after a long and successful career leading the World Trade Center Kentucky.During the same period, WTC-KY team secured a partnership with the University of Kentucky, Gatton College of Business and Economics to design and provide international training and certification to its MBA candidates. The Global Strategies and Commerce Certificate has provided over 200 future leaders across the commonwealth with the international business knowledge to grow professionally and to grow Kentucky trade.The latter program continues to build as the center has partnership agreements with Murray State University, where Webb is a founding board member of the Center for International Business and Trade. The WTC-KY also announced recently an agreement with the University of Louisville.Sandy Miles, the Hutchens Distinguished Professor at Murray State University, said: “Ed has been very instrumental in bringing international trade education to west Kentucky, and has been a significant partner in developing the MSU Center for International Business and Trade in Paducah. With deep gratitude for all Ed has done in west Kentucky, we know Ed will be extremely successfully in continuing to build key relationships and moving the dial in international trade in New Orleans, which has the potential to indirectly affect our area. As such, hopefully Ed’s new position opens the gateway for regional partnerships such as the Delta Regional Authority.”

Where countries have faced trade barriers and wanted them lowered, the negotiations have helped to liberalize trade. But the WTO is not just about liberalizing trade, and in some circumstances its rules support maintaining trade barriers — for example to protect consumers or prevent the spread of disease. At its heart are the WTO agreements which provide the legal ground-rules for international commerce. They are contracts, binding governments to keep their trade policies within agreed limits. Although negotiated and signed by governments, the goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business, while allowing governments to meet social and environmental objectives.

The system’s overriding purpose is to help trade flow as freely as possible — so long as there are no undesirable side-effects — because trade is viewed as important for economic development and well-being. This partly means removing obstacles, and also means ensuring that individuals, companies and governments know what the trade rules are and that they are transparent and predictable.
A third important side to the WTO’s work is the resolution of trade conflicts. Trade relations often involve conflicting interests. Agreements, including those painstakingly negotiated in the WTO system, need interpreting. The most harmonious way to settle these differences is through some neutral procedure based on an agreed legal foundation. That is the purpose behind the dispute settlement process written into the WTO agreements.

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