The State of World Trade: A Discussion with WTO Deputy Director General Ambassador Alan Wolff

Amb. Alan Wolff, Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organization, leads a discussion on WTO economic integration and the U.S. approach to global trade policies
Amb. Alan Wolff, Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organization, leads a discussion on WTO economic integration and the U.S. approach to global trade policies

On July 18, 2018, the Meridian Corporate Council partnered with Boeing to host a discussion on the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the U.S. approach to global trade policies. This roundtable allowed companies to engage in an open, neutral dialogue with WTO Deputy Director General Ambassador Alan Wolff.

Ambassador Wolff began with a brief explanation of World Trade Organization goals, as well as the diplomatic benefits of increased economic integration. Ambassador Wolff believes that trade liberalization is the key to increased cooperation and peace, especially for developing countries as they enter the world market. He lamented the barriers standing in the way of economic integration, particularly threats of trade wars. Fishing policies that prohibit certain forms of fishing subsidiaries that allow for overcapacity, overfishing, and unreported and illegal fishing, have also proven to be sensitive topics of discussion at the WTO. Current fishing negotiations have been criticized for special and differential treatment of developing and least-developed country WTO members.

However, the original mission of the WTO stands strong. Main trade members in the Middle East and North Africa, such as Iraq, Iran, and Algeria, are currently in the process of joining the WTO, as membership is their best chance at revamping their economies in the face of conflict and raising the standard of living for their citizens. The WTO must find a balance between implementing policies that will both appease current members, as well as allow new members to join more easily, in order to ensure the future success of the organization.

Project Sponsor

The Boeing Company

Project summary

The State of World Trade: A Discussion with WTO Deputy Director General Ambassador Alan Wolff | July 2018
Number of Attendees: 31
Impact Areas: Business and Trade
Program Areas: Convening
Partners: Private Sector
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