The third major collapse of talks in the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations on July 28, 2008, in Geneva prompted more than one participant at an international roundtable of trade experts sponsored by CIGI to suggest that it was time for reflection — on the Round, on other mechanisms to manage trade negotiations, on the future of the World Trade Organization (WTO) itself, and more generally on the institutional requirements of the emerging multipolar global economy. The participants at CIGI’s annual meeting of trade experts on September 11-12, 2008, were challenged with recommending how the international institutional framework might be reshaped to meet the needs of today’s more highly integrated globalized world economy. They considered the looming complications for trade rules posed by climate change; energy and food security concerns; higher transportation costs; trade and security issues; the widening income gaps between the world’s rich and its poor; and emerging financial system vulnerabilities. This report is a thematic summary of the ensuing discussion.

  • E. Daniel Ciuriak is a senior research associate with the Centre for Trade Policy and Law.

  • Simon Evenett is a professor of international trade and economic development at the University of St. Gallen and the coordinator of Global Trade Alert, the independent trade policy monitor.

  • Henry Lotin is a senior policy adviser with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.