Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Report on Business

Economy Lab

Delving into the forces that shape our living standards
Best Business Blog, EPPY awards, 2011 and 2012

Entry archive:

Economy Lab has moved

Only Globe Unlimited members will now have access to a wide range of insightful commentary
and analysis on the economy and markets previously offered on this page.


Globe Unlimited subscribers will be able to read these columns,
written by some of Canada’s most deeply respected economists,
such as Christopher Ragan, Sheryl King, Andrew Jackson, and Clement Gignac,
as part of our ROB INSIGHT section.


All of our readers will still be able to browse the Economy Lab archives and read our
broader coverage of economic data and news by accessing their 10 free articles a month.


Learn more about Globe Unlimited and how to subscribe.

The race is on to replace WTO director-general Pascal Lamy (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)
The race is on to replace WTO director-general Pascal Lamy (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

What Canada wants in the next World Trade Organization chief Add to ...

The race to replace France’s Pascal Lamy as head of the World Trade Organization is about to get much tighter.

This month the 159 member-countries of the WTO will narrow the field to five candidates. A final candidate is slated to be identified by the end of May to replace Mr. Lamy, who has led the organization since 2005. Each country gets a single vote in each of three voting rounds.

More Related to this Story

The leadership race comes as the WTO struggles to restart stalled global free trade negotiations begun in 2001 and known as the Doha Round, named for the city in which the negotiations were launched.

So far, the Canadian government isn’t saying who it wants in the post. But it is detailing for the first time what it wants from the next WTO director-general.

Trade Minister Ed Fast laid out an agenda Monday for Mr. Lamy’s successor. Ottawa wants someone who will be a tough trade cop who will fight against tariff and non-tariff protectionism, a defender of the rules-based trading system, and someone willing to push for global free trade in services (even that means leaving some recalcitrant members behind).

“Canada will support the selection of a candidate who can marshal common cause against the protectionism that remains a toxic threat to the global economic recovery,” Mr. Fast said. “The successful candidate must be a champion in the fight against tariff and non-tariff barriers around the world.”

Mr. Fast said the next WTO head will have to re-establish the dominance of the WTO, which has lost influence after the Doha round of multilateral talks stalled and countries pursued regional free trade deals.

“In light of the continued impasse in the Doha Round, Canada has pursued an aggressive bilateral and regional trade agenda, as have many other WTO members,” Mr. Fast pointed out in a statement.

“The next director-general must possess a clear plan to re-establish the WTO as an institution that can credibly advance multilateral trade liberalization efforts in the best interests of all of its members.”

So far, Mr. Fast has met seven of the nine people vying for the job, including candidates from Mexico, New Zealand, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, South Korea, Kenya, Jordan and Indonesia.

Follow on Twitter: @barriemckenna

 

In the know

Most popular video »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most Popular Stories