Trade & investment

Business can chart a new course for trade, says ICC Secretary General

  • 11 September 2018
3 things to know about John W.H. Denton AO

In a letter published in the Financial Times, ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO called on business leaders to leverage their private sector experience towards world trade reform.

Writing in a context of alarming global trade tensions, Mr Denton argues that business must move beyond merely voicing concern over rising protectionism. While “there is an imperative for business to stand behind the multilateral trading system”, companies should “focus on helping governments chart a new course for trade policymaking that deals meaningfully with the pressures now building in the global economy,” Mr Denton writes.

“This means offering ideas and solutions—based on real-world experience—for how the global trading system can be reformed to deal with contentious issues, from the conduct of state-owned enterprises to protecting intellectual property. Critical thought from business is also needed on how trade agreements can better support workers and consumers in the US and across the globe.”

ICC wants to make sure that the users of the rules-based multilateral trading system have a say in the WTO reform process. To that effect, ICC will be managing a soon-to-be-announced Dialogue Platform between multilateral organisations, businesses and think tanks.

Read the Mr Denton’s full letter to the Financial Times here.

Mr Denton’s views on preparing the WTO for the challenges of the 21st century are also highlighted in a recent interview with leading German newspaper Handelsblatt.