Former WTO Director General, Pascal Lamy, Addresses Corruption In Global Trade

September 22, 2014 - The U.S. and International Anti-Corruption Law Program presented a dialogue and breakfast addressing corruption in global trade along with keynote speakerPascal Lamy, the former WTO Director General, Alan Larson, the Chairman of Transparency International USA and Tim Reif, General Counsel Representative at the Office of U.S. Trade.

Globalization has been a mixed blessing, bringing benefits and challenges. While views vary on how to ensure that global trade is widely beneficial, there is agreement that corruption is a major challenge to achieving this objective.

Corruption acts as a trade barrier, distorting competition, increasing costs and reducing investment flows. Yet, corruption has, until now, been only tangentially addressed in WTO agreements. The recently concluded WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement promises to reduce corruption in customs, where it is particularly prevalent and costly. The EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, currently under negotiation, could set new benchmarks for enhancing transparency and explicitly addressing corruption. Speakers discussed the present state of play and prospects for the future.