Beyond its severe toll on human life and public health, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in routines that we have long assumed were reliable and safe. Reevaluating these routines will help us find new and better ways of doing things, but only if we leave some bad ideas in the dustbin. As Cato scholars Daniel J. Ikenson and Simon Lester explain in this Pandemics and Policy issue, one of these ideas is that the pandemic is proof of the failures of globalization. Instead, they show how without the global economy, America will be poorer, more vulnerable, and less resilient.
WTO dispute settlement is one of the most developed and legalistic adjudication systems that exists in international law. But recently, the United States has offered strong objections to some of the rulings and behavior of the Appellate Body. Other WTO members have put forward a temporary appeals mechanism, known as the Multiparty Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement (MPIA) to keep the system functioning until a permanent solution can be found. A new paper from Cato scholar Simon Lester considers the historical development of the Appellate Body, explains the U.S. objections, and then sets out the details of the MPIA and evaluates its prospects.
A narrative of popular discontent against open trade has taken hold, and politicians on both the left and the right have reacted by taking aim at trade agreements and proclaiming their support for economic nationalism. This is both bad policy and a misreading of the views of most Americans. In a new paper, Cato scholar James Bacchus argues that Democrats should not fall into the trap of trying to compete with Donald Trump in skepticism about trade. Instead, Democrats should set out the positive case for trade liberalization and the rule of law in international trade.