CITD held its second Rethinking World Trade conference on Wednesday April 3 on the margins of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) spring meeting. Rethinking World Trade 2024 brought together the academic community, trade practitioners, and policymakers to examine new ideas for a better trading system that is inclusive of all and promotes sustainable development. Rethinking World Trade 2024 was a half day-long, in-person event at the Georgetown University Law Center with panelists presenting avant-garde research and policy recommendations.


Our signature Rethinking World Trade Conference brings together thought leaders from around the world in the international trade, and development to lead discussions and present papers focused on the critical inclusive trade issues of the day with an audience from the academic, development, think tank, policymaking, NGO, and international institutions community.


CITD partnered with the Remaking Trade for a Sustainable Future project and the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Resources for the Future, the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Society of International Law, and Silverado Accelerator to bring a fresh set of ideas and proposals for such trading system reforms to the Washington trade policy community at a major conference that was held at the Georgetown University Law Center on Thursday, February 8, 2024. This brought together a wide array of government officials, members of Congress and their staff, representatives from international organizations, embassy officials, think tanks, and representatives of industry, labor, and environmental groups.

The conference was organized around the ideas and themes of a recently released report, The Villars Framework for a Sustainable Global Trade System. The Framework is itself the culmination of more than two years of work to rethink the foundations for international trade and develop a reform agenda for the World Trade Organization (WTO) to better position the multilateral trading system to meet the needs of the current moment. The Remaking Trade for a Sustainable Future project has been led by Dan Esty from Yale, Jan Yves Remy from the University of the West Indies, and Joel Trachtman from Tufts. It brought together thinking from 10 workshops held around the world and a culminating conference in Villars, Switzerland to map the challenges confronting the WTO, diagnose the reasons that the trading system is facing challenges, and put together a blueprint of where the world needs to go over the next decade to address them. Among these challenges are climate change, standards, subsidies, economic development, circular trade, resilient value chains, sustainable development, and social issues.


The Erasing the β€œAnd” project is a discussion series focused on reimagining trade law and policy that puts critical issues – like development, gender, climate change, labor, environment, and health – at the center of the discussion rather than treating them as "add-ons" to trade law and policy.