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What can we expect from WTO MC13?

Published 27 February 2024

This week, the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference will take place in Abu Dhabi. What outcomes can we expect? How is China’s chip industry responding to US containment? Can the world go green without China? What does Indonesia’s election result mean for the country’s economy? Explore our reading list for the latest developments in global trade.

High-stakes negotiations at MC13

In the Most Favoured Nation blog, George Riddell offers an assessment of the key issues under negotiation.  Marília Maciel of Diplo looks at what is at stake for digital trade, while Bloomberg warns that streaming a movie abroad may cost more if the moratorium on e-commerce tariffs is not extended. Tristan Irschlinger of the International Institute for Sustainable Development assesses whether WTO members will finish the job on fisheries subsidies, and, with Alice Tipping, provides a tool for implementing the fisheries subsidies agreement.  What is the value of WTO commitments? Kyle Handley, Nuno Limão, Rodney D Ludema, and Zhi Yu present a new report in VoxEU/CEPR.

For more expert analysis about what to expect from MC13, read these articles from Hinrich Foundation Fellows: What to expect from WTO MC13 and A moment of truth for the WTO.

For all key documents related to the 13th Ministerial Conference, check out the WTO’s dedicated website.

Mentioned publications

  1. Hey! Ho! WTO – George Riddell, Most Favoured Nation, February 16, 2024
    An assessment of the key issues and prospects for progress on each of them.

  2. 13th WTO Ministerial Conference: What is at stake for digital trade? - Marília Maciel, Diplo, February 19, 2024
    Though no major breakthroughs are expected, the 13th MC will discuss issues important to digital trade.

  3. Streaming a Movie Abroad May Soon Come With Taxes at the BorderBloomberg, February 21, 2024
    What’s at stake for consumers if the moratorium on e-commerce tariffs is not renewed?

  4. Fisheries Subsidies: Will World Trade Organization members finish the job at MC13? - Tristan Irschlinger, International Institute for Sustainable Development, January 11, 2024

  5. Self-Assessment Tool for the Implementation of the WTO Fisheries Subsidies Agreement – Alice Tipping and Tristan Irschlinger, International Institute for Sustainable Development, October 25, 2023
    A tool for economies to use in implementing the WTO Fisheries Subsidies Agreement.

  6. The value of WTO commitments along the global supply chain - Kyle Handley, Nuno Limão , Rodney D Ludema, and Zhi Yu, VoxEU/CEPR, February 21, 2024
    A new study finds that WTO commitments reduce trade policy uncertainty, encouraging greater investment.

  7. 13th WTO Ministerial Conference DocumentsWorld Trade Organization, 2024
    The website for all documents under negotiation as part of the 13th Ministerial Conference.

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Export controls and China’s chip industry

Are export controls curbing China’s ability to develop and manufacture semiconductors? China is on the cusp of next generation chips production, reports the Financial Times.  China is also betting big on chiplets, explains Zeyi Yang in the MIT Technology Review.  China is buying more chip-making equipment from Japan, per Nikkei Asia.  Western nations need a plan for when China floods the chip market, warns Chris Miller in the Financial Times.

Mentioned publications

  1. China on cusp of next-generation chip production despite US curbs – Qianer Liu, Financial Times, February 6, 2024
    China is making progress in advanced chip production while still relying on foreign equipment.

  2. Why China is betting big on chiplets – Zeyi Yang, MIT Technology Review, February 6, 2024
    Will "chiplets" help China overcome loss of access to advanced chips and chip-making technologies?

  3. U.S. trade curbs spur China business for Japan chip industryNikkei Asia, February 20, 2024
    Japanese semiconductor equipment for legacy chips is in high demand from Chinese manufacturers.

  4. Western nations need a plan for when China floods the chip market – Chris Miller Op-ed, Financial Times, January 29, 2024
    How should policy makers respond to China’s plans to increase legacy chip capacity in the face of an expected global supply glut?

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A green energy transition without China?

Can economies meet their green energy transition goals without China’s supply chains? The world’s biggest solar company warns against cutting out Chinese suppliers, per the Financial Times. The energy transition would cost 20% more without China, reports Mary Hui in Quartz. Phred Dvorak and Andrew Mollica in The Wall Street Journal ask whether the US can break China’s grip on solar. The Economist’s Charlemagne sees the positive side of China’s cheap solar panel exports.

Mentioned publications

  1. World’s biggest solar company warns west not to cut out Chinese suppliers – Edward White, Financial Times, February 15, 2024
    Cutting China from solar supply chains endangers the green energy transition.

  2. The energy transition would cost 20% more without China, analysis says – Mary Hui, Quartz, February 13, 2024
    A new study finds that a full decoupling from China would raise the costs of the green energy transition by US$6 trillion.

  3. Can the U.S. Break China’s Grip on Solar? – Phred Dvorak and Andrew Mollica, The Wall Street Journal, February 12, 2024
    China can make solar panels 44% cheaper than the US can.

  4. Europe is importing a solar boom. Good news for (nearly) everyone – Charlemagne, The Economist, February 8, 2024
    Europe must decide on its policy priorities when it comes to solar panels.

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Indonesia’s elections

What does Prabowo’s election mean for trade and investment in Indonesia? Will we see another five years of Jokonomics? queries Trinh Nguyen in an analysis for Natixis, while The Economist considers the false promise of Indonesia’s economy.

Mentioned publications

  1. Another Five Years of Jokonomics? More Infrastructure, Metals and Mining FDI, and Even Greater Dependency on China – Trinh Nguyen, Natixis, February 8, 2024
    How did Indonesia’s economy develop under Jokowi, and what will Prabowo’s election mean for trade and investment? 

  2. The false promise of Indonesia’s economyThe Economist, February 7, 2024
    What are the prospects for Indonesia’s economy in the aftermath of Prabowo’s election?

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