The Rule of Law and the Future of the World Trading System

Free Public Lecture

The Rule of Law and the Future of the World Trading System

Theatre G08, Ground Level
Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street


More information

The news is dominated by trade in a way that it has not been since perhaps the clash between the United States and Japan in the 1980s. The headlines point to a trade war between the United States and China, and strained trade relations between South Korea and Japan. The trading system has not delivered new multilateral agreements during the last five years. The World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement system appears to be breaking down. It appears to be easier to depart from international agreements. What is the current status of these issues, how do they affect the operations of the WTO, and what, if any, is the good news? What is possible to be achieved by June 2020 when the next formal WTO ministerial meeting will be held? What is the long-term picture for multilateralism? Are regional arrangements going to be the new architecture of the trading system? Is the pendulum swinging back permanently away from global value chains?

Image: Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff addressing members at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, December 2018.


  • Mr Alan Wolff
    Mr Alan Wolff, Deputy Director-General