Trade openness and the broader socio-economic context

image of Trade openness and the broader socio-economic context

Section C showed how fundamental economic factors – demography, investment, technology, natural resources, transportation and institutions – can affect the future of trade. But trade takes place within a broader socio-economic context. This context matters for trade and trade policy. Historically, social and macroeconomic concerns have repeatedly influenced decisions in trade policy matters. Section B of this report provided examples of such situations. Both themes are currently high on the political agenda and will undoubtedly affect policy-makers’ views and positions in the area of trade reform in the future. A third factor relates to environmental concerns, an issue that has rapidly been gaining prominence in the national, regional and global policy debate. It has also been repeatedly linked to trade, notably in the context of a number of high-profile WTO disputes, in the context of regional trade agreements and as an element of the on-going Doha Development Agenda.

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