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Proposal for Skopje Spring Congress 2020 03 - 05 April 2020

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Submitted at Wednesday, 4. March 2020 um 16:35 Uhr, in category "Chapter 4 – Business, Economy, Finance and Tax, Cross-Cutting Policies" with No. 402. Author/s: "Joventut Nacionalista de Catalunya (JNC), JUNOS, Radikal Ungdom, Junge Liberale, JOVD.

The Skopje Spring Congress 2020 may decide:

Defending a multilateral and liberal model of international commerce

Considering that: 

  • The agreements of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) are legal  documents that cover all kinds of economic activities: agriculture, public bonds, banking, telecommunications, industrial standards and consumer safety, intellectual property, etc. But all those documents are governed by a few fundamental principles that are the base of the current system of multilateral commerce. Those are: the most-favoured-nation (MFN), that of national treatment, that of free commerce, that of predictability – through compromise and transparency –, and that of free competition and of development and economic reform promotion.
  • The WTO has been key to the liberalisation of commerce since 1995 and economic prosperity through the process of globalisation and global integration that the world has seen, of which the United States had always been a fervent advocate, against the protectionist practices of countries such as China or Russia. Nonetheless, President Trump has initiated a trade war that could potentially have a dangerous outcome not only in terms of global growth, but also of norms and diplomacy, normalizing the fact that trade disputes do not get resolved at the negotiating table but instead are escalated through threats,  custom increases and  proctectionism.

Noting that: 

  • On the one hand, Trump justifies that he wants China to obey the terms of free commerce that it has agreed to follow but, on the other, it acts in a totally different fashion, publicly criticising the WTO and repeatedly threatening to pull the US out of it”.The American administration has failed in promoting reforms that could have allowed for a better functioning of this institution: it has blocked the designation of WTO judges, which the organisation urgently needs; it has refused to even consider the proposed reforms in international forums; and it has neither proposed alternative reforms. This means that it is not only undermining the well-functioning of the WTO, but that western liberal countries can no longer hold China accountable when it does not obey the agreed commercial terms, thus diminishing the global legitimacy that those enjoyed;
  • Trump has entered into a victimist rhetoric saying that countries such as China have been abusing WTO, using its norms to receive special treatment and creating unfair disadvantages in front of American companies that “play following the rules of the game” and creating an unequal playing field without any accountability. However, stating that the WTO is “the worst trade agreement ever reached” will not solve anything. On the contrary, the WTO must not be used as a political weapon, since using its dispute resolution mechanism (WTODS) as a forum to discuss international affairs, not strictly related to trade, goes against the reason of being of the same organisation, since in the end it’s purpose is to move beyond contingent political interests and turbulences, whether a trade demand from a particular country is legitimate or not. 

LYMEC: 

  • Demands liberal countries to cooperate to prevent a further erosion of  the liberal trade regime after Trump and to propose profound reforms and legal solutions to end with trade wars through a new multilateral and stable trade agreement;
  • Condemns the victimist rhetoric of President Trump, since it does not bring any real solution and undermines the legitimacy, the proper functioning and the multilateral trust within the liberal trade regime;
  • Refuse that a trade war be the solution to the challenges that China is posing to the established international order or the right tool to prevent  China from building an alternative trade regime based on non-liberal trading values;
  • Ask that the government of the US stop blocking the resolution of trade disputes, as well as the designation of new WTO judges, since this prevents the effective functioning if the organisation and goes against its reason of being;
  • Demand that trade disagreements are resolved within the multilateral liberal regime in a systematic, definitive and fair way, because this is the only actual existent legitimate mechanism;
  • The LYMEC Bureau to forward this resolution to the ALDE Party and to the ALDE Council;
  • The LYMEC member organisations and member contacts in the EU member states and applicant states to pressure their mother parties and other politicians to achieve the aims of this resolution.

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Amendments for this proprosal:

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