Remarks to the American Chemical Council on the WTO

June 8, 2021

To understand the multilateral trading system, the WTO, it is useful to consider for a moment its beginning.

When the multilateral trading system was constructed three-quarters of a century ago, the way forward was clear.  Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman knew exactly what they wanted to achieve: open markets, an end to discriminatory trading arrangements, and an absence of state intervention by government-run corporations.  Their objective was to rebuild the world economy and underwrite a stable and long-lasting peace.  They had the self-confidence, sense of purpose and, to be sure, the power and resources to create that world.  It was a remarkably successful experiment from which all nations of the world who wished to participate benefited enormously.  The trading system that the United States, and the nations that joined it, created contributed irrefutably to the well-being of peoples around the world.

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Alan Wm. Wolff Senior Research Staff

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