25 July 2017

Liam Fox: WTO can regain ability to shape global trade

Speaking at the Graduate Institute on 20 July, Liam Fox, UK Secretary of State for International Trade, highlighted the World Trade Organization’s role as the central pillar of global free trade.

“The future of global trade will be shaped by three things”, said Dr Fox, “the digital economy, the promotion of trade as the main tool of development, and unlocking the vast potential of the trade in services. On these issues the WTO has the chance to take back the initiative, and regain the ability to shape the global trading environment.”

Regarding the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU, Dr Fox refused to speculate on whether we would see a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit. “The only reason we wouldn’t get as open a free trade agreement as we have today is if politics gets in the way of economics and common sense. I hope the driver will be the well-being of our people.”

A video of the event, which was organised by the Graduate Institute’s Centre for Trade and Economic Integration and the UK Mission in Geneva, and which was moderated by CTEI co-director Joost Pauwelyn, is below.