published on Rising Powers Quarterly 1 (1), 71-83
This article investigates the role of rising powers in the global trading system – within the World Trade Organization (WTO) and beyond the WTO. It explores the emergence of bilateral and (mega-)regional agreements such as the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and their implications for the global governance of international trade. It examines how China and other rising powers are reacting to the changing landscape of trade governance and explores the impacts on developing and emerging economies. Safeguarding the future of the global trading system – especially the WTO as a forum for multilateral negotiations – requires reform. The article assesses the current institutional inequality of the global trade system and argues that the status quo serves to limit change within the WTO. The current institutional set-up of the global trading system beyond the WTO must also be examined. The article further points out that the G20 could play a key role in the WTO and reform of the global trading system.