Commentary Type

Plurilateral Agreements and the Future of the WTO

Remarks delivered at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


Singapore plays an outsized role in world affairs.

It has often punched above its weight. This has been true for decades. It was impressed upon me when I visited with Lee Kwan Yew decades ago when I was a American government trade negotiator, and it is true in the WTO today.

Singapore is on the forefront of innovation in the WTO, as an original proponent of the joint statement on e-commerce, which will lead to an agreement that will be good for the entire world economy, not least Asia.

In addition, Singapore, through its talented Ambassador, Tan Hung Seng, has led the effort to help the very poorest of countries by working for an exemption from export limitations on food purchases by the World Food Program.

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