Global trade governance is undergoing many important and far-reaching changes – in multilateral organizations, through non-binding intergovernmental guidelines and standards, and in the private sector. This brief provides an overview of this evolving landscape explaining the fundamental changes that need to happen in the World Trade Organization (WTO) such as amending its negotiating architecture and dispute resolution mechanism, that non-binding guidelines and standards are growing in importance, and private sector environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices are increasingly shaping the way trade is conducted globally. Herman also notes the growing influence of China in shaping global trade rules – a potential threat to Western business norms. Particularly, Herman stresses the need for governments to finish multilateral negotiations which have been stalled for decades, assist in developing progressive and socially responsible business practices, and to promote private sector efforts without interfering with their operations.
NB: This brief was originally published by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute in June 2021: https://www.cgai.ca/brave_new_world_trends_in_global_trade_governance