Waterloo, Canada – April 11, 2013 – If the long-rumoured trans-Atlantic free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and the European Union becomes a reality, it could have the ironic effect of bringing about a resumption of World Trade Organization (WTO) talks. This is the conclusion of new policy brief from The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA).

In Post-Doha Trade Governance: Atlantic Hegemony or WTO Resurgence? BSIA Ph. D. candidate Dan Herman writes that all signs point to the commencement of US-EU FTA talks in the coming months. Slow growth trends in both regions, as well as ongoing concerns related to unemployment, have made a trans-Atlantic deal a priority for both parties. Herman notes that these negotiations would continue the divergence from the WTO as the key forum for trade negotiation and governance, but with a potentially ironic result — creating “sufficient pressure on other trading partners to allow for the resumption of WTO talks.”

Herman argues that a successful deal would:

  • create significant economic and strategic benefits for both parties, notably the ability to forestall calls for decreases in distorting industrial and agricultural subsidies;
  • leave countries outside of US and EU bilateral and regional agreements hard-pressed to extract significant market access or development assistance concessions from either party, with developing countries particularly at risk;
  • create significant incentives for developed and developing markets related to transaction cost avoidance and negotiating leverage to push for new multilateral efforts to be made through the WTO.

For more information on Post-Doha Trade Governance: Atlantic Hegemony or WTO Resurgence?, including a free PDF download, visit http://www.cigionline.org/publications/2013/4/post-doha-trade-governance-atlantic-hegemony-or-wto-resurgence.


Dan Herman is a Ph.D. candidate in global political economy at Wilfrid Laurier University, based at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA). His research examines the impact of changing patterns of global economic activity on mature industrial economies, with a particular focus on how trade, innovation and employment policy interact therein.


The CIGI-BSIA Policy Brief Series presents the research findings of leading BSIA scholars, developing information and analysis, including recommendations, on policy-oriented topics that address CIGI’s four  core research areas: the global economy; global security; the environment and energy; and global development.

Declan Kelly, Communications Specialist, CIGI
Tel: 519.885.2444, ext. 7356, Email: [email protected]

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, non-partisan think tank on international governance. Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI’s interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2001 by Jim Balsillie, then co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit www.cigionline.org.

The Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) is an institute for advanced research, education,
and outreach on global governance. As a hub in a global network of scholars, practitioners, and students, BSIA aims to develop new solutions to humanity’s critical problems, improve global governance now and in the future, and enhance the quality of people’s lives around the world. Founded in 2007, BSIA is an equal collaboration among the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the University of Waterloo (UW), and Wilfrid Laurier University (Laurier). For more information, please visit www.balsillieschool.ca.

The opinions expressed in this article/multimedia are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of CIGI or its Board of Directors.