The Oral History Project of the World Trading System was the brainchild of Prof. John Jackson, the founding director of the Institute of International Economic Law (IIEL) at Georgetown University Law Center. He initiated the project in 2001 to capture and preserve the invaluable insights and experiences of individuals, who have played a prominent role in the development of this system.
Interviewees have included former senior officials in the U.S. and other national governments, the EU Commission, the GATT and WTO secretariats, and members of dispute settlement panels and appellate bodies. These candid, firsthand accounts about the economic, political, and legal issues and debates that arose are of enormous importance to scholars, diplomats, policymakers, and practitioners in understanding the evolution and current shape of the world trading system and the challenges facing it. It may also provide notable lessons learned for the future.
The Institute relaunched the project in 2021. It is addressing any backlog in the transcription and editing of interviews. Around two dozen interviews were conducted prior to 2015. Further interviews are envisaged as the world trading system continues to evolve and its history continues to be made. In collaboration with the Georgetown University Law Library, the IIEL is making plans to eventually post a first tranche of the interview transcripts on a dedicated web page that will be created for this purpose.
Former WTO Appellate Body Member; Former U.S. Congressman (D-FL)
James L. Bacchus
Former Senior Policy Adviser to the U.S. Trade Representative
Former U.S. Congressman (R-MN)
William "Bill" E. Frenzel
Former Acting Director-General and Director for Trade in Services, WTO Secretariat
David Hartridge, CMG
Former U.S. Trade Representative; Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Amb. Carla A. Hills
Founding Director, IIEL; Former General Counsel, Office of the Special Trade Representative
Prof. John H. Jackson
Former Special Adviser to the Director-General; Former Director for Legal Affairs and for Tariffs, GATT Secretariat
Ake S. Lindén
Former U.S. Special Agricultural Trade Negotiator, Uruguay Round and NAFTA
Charles J. O'Mara
Former Deputy Director-General, WTO Secretariat; Former U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission to the WTO
Andrew L. Stoler
Former Canadian Ambassador to the GATT & WTO; Former Chief NAFTA Negotiator
Amb. John M. Weekes
Former Director for Non-Tariff Measures & Former Secretary of Ministerial Conferences, GATT Secretariat; Former EU Delegate for WTO Accessions
Peter J. Williams