The following themes have been identified for deliberation during the GNLU Academy on International Trade Law 2018
The Law relating to Subsidies and Problems with Farm and Energy Subsidies
The session shall briefly introduce the law relating to subsidies, particularly in light of Article XVI, GATT, and the SCM Agreement. It shall then evaluate two contemporary challenges related to subsidies: effects of so-called “hidden subsidies” in the renewable energy sector and effects of farm subsidies given by developed countries on developing countries.
Addressing Non-Trade Concerns at the WTO
Many developed and developing countries have proposed to enlarge the mandate of the WTO to include non-trade concerns, particularly protection of the environment and labour rights. This session shall seek to appreciate the extent to which the existing framework already performs this function, the extent to which the WTO DSB should look into non-trade issues and possible amendments to the existing framework.
Relevance of the “Security Exception” in the WTO Regime
The GATT, the GATS and the TRIPS Agreement include the “security exception”, which permits countries to protect their “essential security interests” irrespective of their free trade obligations. This session shall appreciate the instances in which this exception has been invoked in the past, the scope for its application in future, and the need for adopting safeguards to prevent its abuse.
Contemporary Challenges to the Multilateral Trading System
This session shall address contemporary challenges to the multilateral trading system established under the aegis of the WTO, particularly in light of the Doha Round negotiations, the recent trend in trade protectionism and the implications of unilateral policy decisions on global trade.
Changing Role of Developing Countries at the WTO
The session will explore how the role of the developing countries at the WTO has changed over the years, with specific reference to their active engagement in WTO negotiations and policy-making. An attempt shall be made to understand how developing countries have influenced negotiations at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference, Buenos Aires.
Renewable Energy and International Trade Law: Contemporary Challenges
The WTO has, in recent times, witnessed a spate of disputes concerning measures adopted in the renewable energy sector. While it is desirable for countries to promote the use of renewable energy, the measures adopted are often struck down by the WTO DSB as discouraging free trade. This session shall seek to appreciate how the often-contradicting interests of use of sustainable energy and free trade can be balanced.
President Trump’s Trade Agenda
This session shall aim to understand nuances of the trade agenda envisioned for the United States of America by the Trump administration, particularly in light of USA’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, Section 232 investigations and the renegotiation of the NAFTA.
Regional Trade Agreements in a Multilateral Trade Regime
This session shall provide a primer on regional trade agreements, and explore how regional trade agreements complement and/ or pose threats to the multilateral trade regime, and consider how the recent wave of regionalism should be balanced as against multilateral trade interests.