Trade and Investment Issues in the New Millennium Round
New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Alan M. Rugman and Gavin Boyd
Chapter 10: Designing a market enhancing WTO
J. David Richardson 1 OVERVIEW AND PRELIMINARIES In Richardson (2000b) I argue that certain narrow new issues in global trade negotiations belong there quite naturally. I label these conformable issues ‘market-supportive regulation’. Market-supportive regulation is regulation that enhances the ‘market system’, making it work better and for a broader constituency. That paper argues that ideally both market enthusiasts and society win from a commitment, more speciﬁcally to: Wise incorporation of market-supportive regulation into global trade negotiations, which is the key to generating a new wave of ‘gains from trade’ and to widely disseminating those gains within and among societies. In this chapter I reﬁne that argument. I emphasize two particular provocations. First, I believe that the World Trade Organization (WTO) is indeed the right forum for the new-issue experiments that I propose. Second, I believe that one very speciﬁc labour-relations policy, open trade in ‘worker-agency services’, is an excellent illustration of market-supportive regulation. My other illustrations are less provocative. They include a narrow subset of regulatory principles and practices from the domains of competition policies and technology policies. But only a narrow subset. Only those regulatory principles that conform most closely to the market system – thereby enhancing it – belong on the WTO negotiating agenda. The rest would threaten the organization and hold back the progress of negotiations. My provocations and terminology beg several questions. Why not take a breather from global trade negotiations? The global backlash has been strong, and not just in Seattle; perhaps now is...
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