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James Bacchus - How Brexit could affect Britain's relationship with the WTO

Salzburg Global Fellow James Bacchus comments on British trade post-Brexit for Wall Street Journal

Bacchus speaking at New Dynamics in Global Trade Architecture: WTO, G20 and Regional Trade Agreements in 2014

Bacchus speaking at New Dynamics in Global Trade Architecture: WTO, G20 and Regional Trade Agreements in 2014

Oscar Tollast | 09.02.2017

Chair of the Greenberg Traurig law firm James Bacchus has questioned how British business will be "buoyed" to fill the Brexit gap if a new EU trade agreement isn't secured before Britain leaves.

Bacchus, a former chairman of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO), discussed the issue as part of a commentary for The Wall Street Journal (paywall).

In his article, Bacchus suggests there is a "widespread assumption" Britain will go back to the balance-of-trade rights and obligations it enjoys as a member of the WTO.

However, there are doubts whether the UK's WTO trade benefits will remain intact post-Brexit.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, he said, "Currently, the UK's WTO trade benefits are bound up with those of the 27 other EU member states in a schedule of concessions - a list of tariffs, quotas and other trade commitments on market entry for thousands of traded goods and services. Post-Brexit, the UK will need its own separate WTO-approved list."

In his article for The Wall Street Journal, Bacchus explores how other countries may seek concessions from the UK and what the UK might have to give in exchange for keeping the same trade benefits it already enjoys.

He also identifies how British trade negotiators have become "fully aware of the centrality of the WTO to the success of Brexit."

Bacchus chaired the session New Dynamics in Global Trade Architecture: WTO, G20 and Regional Trade Agreements in 2014, and gave the keynote lecture at the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program: Future of Public and Private International Law in 2013.

To read the article in full, please click here.

09.02.2017 Category: FACES OF LEADERSHIP, FELLOW UPDATES, JUSTICE, LAW ACADEMY, SALZBURG UPDATES, SUSTAINABILITY
Oscar Tollast