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IISD Trade and Sustainability Review, Volume 3, Issue 3, July 2023

This issue of the IISD Trade and Sustainability Review delves into various trade topics, including the progress of Africa's garment industry in achieving circular economy goals, the role of trade in tackling the biodiversity crisis, and the present status of the WTO's dispute settlement system.

By Managing Editor: Jennifer Freedman on July 17, 2023


Investment Facilitation for Development Agreement: Why does it matter?

Rashmi Jose

Talks have recently concluded for the Investment Facilitation for Development Agreement (IFDA). Rashmi Jose analyzes how the negotiating process—known as a joint statement initiative (JSI)—has evolved, why the potential agreement matters for sustainable development and what we can expect next, especially in the run-up to the next ministerial conference (MC13).

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Joint Statement Initiative on E-commerce at Crossroads for a “Substantial” Conclusion by MC13

Yasmin Ismail

The JSI on e-commerce has made significant progress, engaging an increasing number of WTO members through multiple negotiation rounds. Yasmin Ismail, Programme Officer at CUTS International Geneva, examines the progress, prospects, and challenges of reaching a consolidated text by MC13.

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Nature-Positive Trade for Sustainable Development

Marianne Kettunen

International cooperation and the alignment of trade policies with environmental regulations, removal of harmful subsidies, and promotion of sustainable practices can help address the biodiversity crisis. Marianne Kettunen emphasizes the potential of trade in supporting conservation, sustainable use, and restoration.

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Unappealable but not Unappealing: WTO dispute settlement without the Appellate Body

Robert Howse

The World Trade Organization’s Dispute Settlement system was once described as its "crown jewel," but since the Trump administration blocked appointments to the Appellate Body, it has been stuck in limbo. Robert Howse examines what this has meant in practice and how likely reform is ahead of the 13th Ministerial Conference.

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Linking Economic Transformation to Circular Economy Goals: The case of Africa’s garment industry

Colette van der Ven

A proactive approach is essential for African countries to embrace circular economy principles in the garment sector. Colette van der Ven explains why without it, the opportunities identified may not materialize, risking slow progress and missed economic transformation prospects.

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