Mexico’s candidate for top WTO post talks trade

The Globe & Mail interviews former Mexican minister Herminio Blanco Mendoza, one of nine candidates for the post of World Trade Organization Director-General. He’s not all that pleased by the trend toward regional trade deals: Regional trade agreements are being made in Asia, in the Pacific, in the Atlantic. The WTO and its members should ...

By , a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.
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611692_blanco2.jpg

The Globe & Mail interviews former Mexican minister Herminio Blanco Mendoza, one of nine candidates for the post of World Trade Organization Director-General. He's not all that pleased by the trend toward regional trade deals:

Regional trade agreements are being made in Asia, in the Pacific, in the Atlantic. The WTO and its members should understand very clearly that business in the world wants different rules, more modern rules and faster rules. The WTO, if it wants to remain relevant, has to compete with those agreements, and complement those agreements...

These regional free trade agreements hinge on them being open to new entrants. At some point, all of these agreements will have to converge. Not only converge, but have a systemic relationship with the WTO. I don’t see a WTO that remains relevant in 10 years if the only relationship between the WTO, and let’s say the TPP, is simply as a regulator. It would be a waste of all this energy in opening up markets regionally.

The Globe & Mail interviews former Mexican minister Herminio Blanco Mendoza, one of nine candidates for the post of World Trade Organization Director-General. He’s not all that pleased by the trend toward regional trade deals:

Regional trade agreements are being made in Asia, in the Pacific, in the Atlantic. The WTO and its members should understand very clearly that business in the world wants different rules, more modern rules and faster rules. The WTO, if it wants to remain relevant, has to compete with those agreements, and complement those agreements…

These regional free trade agreements hinge on them being open to new entrants. At some point, all of these agreements will have to converge. Not only converge, but have a systemic relationship with the WTO. I don’t see a WTO that remains relevant in 10 years if the only relationship between the WTO, and let’s say the TPP, is simply as a regulator. It would be a waste of all this energy in opening up markets regionally.

But Blanco, who helped push for NAFTA, does acknowledge that regional trade deals can in some circumstances have a catalytic effect on global negotiations. Like other nominees, Blanco has been out and about, seeking to drum up support for his candidacy. The Center for Global Development has been systematically interviewing WTO candidates, and those conversations can be found here

David Bosco is a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of The Poseidon Project: The Struggle to Govern the World’s Oceans. Twitter: @multilateralist

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