The World Trade Report 2013 is out.
And some of it's conclusions make interesting reading:
"Inertia within WTO trade negotiations is becoming an increasing burden for a large number of countries. What needs to be done? First, governments need to move forward on the existing agenda addressing market access conditions for both goods and services with equal determination as well as other trade costs covered by the talks on trade facilitation.
Secondly, other sources of uneven competition and limitations on the open flow of trade need to be addressed at the global rather than regional level. Analysing the information provided under the WTO’s PTA transparency mechanism and further strengthening the WTO’s other transparency and monitoring functions may help to identify issues of concern that are already addressed in one way or another at the WTO, such as various types of NTMs. Additionally, new issues are likely to emerge, such as investment and competition policy, where multilateral action may be beneficial.
Thirdly, areas for international action that will shape the future of trade but reach beyond the mandate of the WTO must be addressed, including in terms of their impact on trade cooperation. Climate change and macroeconomic policies are two examples. Further reflection and discussion is needed on the role of the WTO in the institutional framework of global governance in order to ensure policy coherence and fruitful working relationships."
Inertia to be replaced by a new agenda for multilateralism? Sounds promising but is it anywhere in sight?