Recently, Friends of Multilateralism Group (FMG) and its members following with worries about the trade policy trends around the world, from threats to launch “tariff wars”, to waste tax payers money on distorting subsidies, to struggle with where to position private enterprises in their economy, to abuse tariff water to protect so-called “infant industries”, and to impose export restrictions on food, etc. FMG believes that such trends undermine basic WTO principles and rules and, if not guarded against, will strike a serious hit on the WTO and the MTS it represents.
Against this background, FMG decides to take a series of actions to speak out against such worrisome policy trends, including two one-pager papers to reemphasize the often forgotten benefits of the MTS and the importance to safeguard them and the cost to deviate from such basic principles of the WTO with protectionism measures, and a follow-up FMG brainstorming session to later this year.
The first one-pager titled “The Underappreciated Benefits Of Multilateral Rules-Based Trade” was led and drafted by four FMG members Mercedes Araoz, Deborah Elms, Mia Mikic and Sherry Stephenson. And FMG decide to take the opportunity of the WTO Public Forum to distribute this paper to FMG community, the audience at the WTO Public Forum and the wider public.
This paper can be viewed through this link: https://fmg-geneva.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/FMG-Inputs-for-MTS_Sept-2023.pdf