Multilateral Trade Liberalization and Regional Integration under Stress – Workshop in Honor of Prof. Dr. Rolf J. Langhammer
Editor: Dennis J. Snower and Peter Nunnenkamp, Kiel Institute for the World Economy
The situation has hardly improved since Rolf Langhammer’s warning in 2009: "The global trading system faces severe challenges. The combination of the stalled Doha Round, the global financial and economic crisis, and a rising number of protectionist measures initiated in industrialized countries and emerging markets alike has raised the risk that the global trading system will degenerate into a series of bilateral agreements" (R.J. Langhammer (2009), Why a Marketplace Must Not Discriminate. Business and Politics 11 (3): Article 3; DOI: 10.2202/1469-3569.1262). The Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations has not officially been declared dead. But various deadlines were missed, and "with Doha paralysed, regional alternatives to a multilateral deal are springing up" (The Economist 2012: 10).
Against this backdrop the Kiel Institute for the World Economy organized a workshop in honor of Rolf Langhammer, its leaving Vice President, on August 31st, 2012, to discuss the prospects of the world trading order and in particular the tension between multilateralism and regionalism. This special issue presents four contributions to this workshop under the overall theme Multilateral Trade Liberalization and Regional Integration under Stress. Arvind Panagariya and Gary Hufbauer provide general accounts of past achievements, current challenges and possible ways out of the impasse. Peter Draper and Andreas Freytag as well as Heribert Dieter take regional perspectives from Africa and Asia, respectively.