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Robert Lawrence

Albert L. Williams Professor of International Trade and Investment

This course provides a multidimensional introduction to international trade policy. Its purpose is to provide students with an understanding of international trade economics, rules, politics and institutions, and the major policy issues and challenges facing the global trading system.

The course begins with an exploration of the rationales for free trade & protection, the distributional consequences of trade, the impact of trade on employment and growth and the challenges presented by deeper international economic integration.

The course then considers the World Trade Organization (WTO). It explores negotiation mechanisms and principles, the rules relating to market access, services, agriculture, trade-related intellectual property (TRIPs), fair trade, safeguards and the system for dispute settlement and retaliation.

The final section considers major challenges currently facing the trading system. These include the Covid pandemic, the backlash against globalization, and threats to the global trading order presented by US trade policy and the problems of absorbing China’s Socialist Market Economy.

The pedagogical approaches in the course include lectures provided prior to class, case studies, small group discussions based on study questions, and exercises that simulate trade disputes and negotiations over WTO reforms for which students will be organized into national teams.