World Trade and Investment Law Reimagined09.17.19 —As trade wars, tariffs and international economic uncertainty continue to dominate the news headlines, Northeastern Law faculty members Dan Danielsen and Sonia E. Rolland offer insights and expertise in chapters in a new book, World Trade and Investment Law Reimagined: A Progressive Agenda for an Inclusive Globalization (Anthem Press, 2019), edited by Alvaro Santos, Chantal Thomas and David Trubek. Danielsen and Rolland join fellow contributors in suggesting ideas for a new and progressive trade and investment regime that would help sustain growth, facilitate development and ensure that gains are shared and losses compensated.

In a chapter titled, “Trade, Distribution and Development Under Supply Chain Capitalism,” Danielsen argues that the organization of global production into supply chain capitalism limits the bargaining power of many (if not most) developing countries and their domestic firms, as well as their ability to capture an equitable share of the rents from innovation and participation in global trade. “The neo-liberal promise of development through trade openness had failed most developing countries. To understand how and why, we must look beyond trade law to the numerous legal regimes that are enabling and reinforcing buyer firm power in global supply chains and the inequitable distribution of power, wealth and vulnerability these chain structures are producing,” says Danielsen, director of Northeastern Law’s Program on the Corporation, Law and Global Society.

In a chapter titled “Embedded Neoliberalism and Its Discontents: The Uncertain Future of Trade and Investment Law,” Sonia E. Rolland and David Trubek, one of the book’s co-editors, argue that an uneasy truce between proponents of trade and investment liberalization and strong resistance in the name of state-led growth and sovereignty by developing countries is unravelling. “So, what comes next?” asks Rolland. “The most important issue moving forward is how to work with China as it is. We have to reckon that China will soon be the largest economy in the world. And we have to forget the idea that international economic law can force China into a neo-liberal straight-jacket.”

Rolland and Trubek are also co-authors of the forthcoming book, Emerging Powers in the International Economic Order: Cooperation, Competition and Transformation (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

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