In this episode of the IDS Between the Lines podcast, IDS Fellow Amrita Saha interviews James Bacchus about his book: Trade Links: New Rules for a New World. James is a Distinguished University Professor of Global Affairs and Director of the Center for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity at the University of Central Florida.
In the book and podcast, James argues that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) can survive and continue to succeed only if the trade links among WTO members are revitalised and reimagined. He explains how to bring the WTO into the twenty-first century, exploring the ways it can be utilised to combat future pandemics and climate change and advance sustainable development, all while continuing to foster free trade.
About the author
James Bacchus is the Distinguished University Professor of Global Affairs and Director of the Center for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity at the University of Central Florida. He was a founding judge and was twice the Chairman – the chief judge – of the highest court of world trade, the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.
He is a former Member of the Congress of the United States, from Florida, and also a former international trade negotiator for the United States.
He is a Global Fellow of the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Canada and an Adjunct Scholar of the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. He is the Pao Yue – Kong Chair Professor at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. He served on the High-Level Advisory Panel to the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, chairs the global Commission on Trade and Investment Policy of the International Chamber of Commerce, and chaired the global sustainability council of the World Economic Forum.
For more than fourteen years, he chaired the global practice of the largest law firm in the United States and one of the largest in the world. Professor Bacchus is the author of the books Trade and Freedom, published by Cameron May in London in 2004, and The Willing World: Shaping and Sharing a Sustainable Global Prosperity, published by Cambridge University Press in 2018.
He is a frequent writer in leading publications and a frequent speaker on prominent platforms worldwide on numerous topics relating to international law and international political economy.
About the interviewer
Amrita Saha is an economist with a focus on political economy and development. She works with the Rural Futures and the Business, Markets and State clusters at IDS. Her ongoing research explores the political economy of trade protection, agricultural commercialization in Sub-Saharan Africa, innovation and inclusive structural change. Amrita holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Sussex. Her past research roles have included working with the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, the Ministry of Commerce in India, WTO Geneva, and United Nations ESCAP. She has also taken up various teaching roles at IDS, LSE, SOAS, University of Sussex, and University of Bath.
Amrita has extensive experience in designing and implementing large-scale household and firm-level surveys, small-scale targeted surveys and structured interviews. Her work demonstrates a combination of rigorous quantitative modelling, qualitative methods, and the use of digital applications for survey design. She is particularly interested in working on political economy issues for India, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
About the book
The World Trade Organization is undergoing an existential crisis. Trade links the world not only through the flow of international commerce in goods, services, and ideas; but also through its economic, environmental, and social impacts. Trade links are supported by a WTO trading system founded on rules established in the 20th century which do not account for all the modern changes in the global economy.
James Bacchus, posits that this global organization can survive and continue to succeed only if the trade links among WTO members are revitalized and reimagined. He explains how to bring the WTO into the twenty-first century, exploring the ways it can be utilized to combat future pandemics and climate change and advance sustainable development, all while continuing to foster free trade. This book is among the first to comprehensively explain the new trade rules needed for our new world.
You can buy the book here.
About this podcast
Discussing the latest ideas shaping development.
This podcast series explores books with ideas for positive social and environmental change. Each month we feature a book and an interview with its author. The discussions give an insight on the themes covered in the book, exploring the challenges and discoveries, and why the issues matter for progressive and sustainable development globally.
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