Video On Demand

Why the Developing World and All of Us Need Trade and the WTO

September 22, 2023 • 2:30 – 3:30 pm EDT

Please join the CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development for an in-person discussion between Katherine Tai, the United States Trade Representative, and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), on “Why the Developing World and All of Us Need Trade and the WTO.” 

In an increasingly interconnected world, the role of international institutions and trade are vital in promoting global cooperation and uplifting the developing world. Over the past six decades, global trade volumes have increased 20-fold, and per capita incomes have increased 27 times over. Since 1990 alone, extreme poverty across the globe has declined by three quarters. Moreover, economic interdependence was at the heart of nearly 75 years of relative global peace which catalyzed global development as a lever of poverty reduction. 

The global financial crisis, the war in Ukraine, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic have spurred fears of de-globalization, reduced international trade, and concern over leaving the developing world behind. However, multi-lateral trade remains as essential, with over 30 percent of global output resulting from international trade. At the heart of international trade and poverty reduction are organizations like the WTO that attempt to promote non-discriminatory trade principles and global economic integration.   

The United States has historically shown unwavering commitment a rules-based international trading system. However, Washington has consistently criticized the WTO’s dispute settlement system, particularly the Appellate Body, for its overreach, unnecessarily adding to US obligations, and enabling economic distortions from non-market practices by some countries.

During the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) held last year, WTO members agreed to work toward reform of the organization and secure a fully functioning dispute settlement system by 2024. With the next Ministerial Conference in February, Washington and the WTO should engage in conversation about how best to move forward. Please join us for that dialogue. 

Ambassador Tai and Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will each deliver opening remarks at this event. Afterwards, they will participate in a fireside chat moderated by Daniel Runde, Senior Vice President; William A. Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis; and Director of the Project on Prosperity and Development at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Please note that space is limited. 

This event was made possible through general support to CSIS.

Contact Information

Daniel F. Runde
Senior Vice President; William A. Schreyer Chair; Director, Project on Prosperity and Development