Document Type

Article

Publication Year

2010

Journal Title

American Society of International Law Proceedings

Abstract

One of the most distinctive aspects of this economic crisis was the coordinated efforts of nation-states, led by the G-20, to address the crisis within their domestic borders. While globalization has helped to shift the power of the nation-state toward global markets consisting of both state and non-state actors, international institutions governing global markets and free trade consist of representatives of the nation-state. With this financial crisis, it is clear that the nation-state is still in the picture, for it has been the nation-state, with its robust stimulus packages and capital reserves, that has marshaled our slow exit from this financial crisis (at least for now). In terms of trade, though, the nation-state can also be a source of protectionism.

Today I would like to focus on three main observations related to trade that the recent economic crisis has highlighted:

*the emergence of protectionist tendencies by nation-states, particularly in times of economic recessions, as demonstrated by the recent domestic responses to the crisis;

* the central role of the nation-state in its regulatory capacity vis-a-vis international institutions and the free market;

* the role of international institutions, in particular the WTO, which have traditionally been focused on the nation-state, and which raise the question whether they are still the best model for today's more globalized world of state and non-state actors.

I will conclude with some brief points about the role of the WTO as nations move forward in redirecting their economies in various sectors, such as renewable energy and climate change

First Page

438

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