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Bernard Hoekman

European University Institute

Bernard is Professor and Director, Global Economics at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He is also a CEPR Research Fellow, where he co-directs the Trade Policy Research Network; a Senior Associate of the Economic Research Forum for the Arab countries, Turkey and Iran; and a member of the World Economic Forum Global Action Council on Logistics and Supply Chains. Prior positions held by Bernard include Director of the International Trade Department and Research Manager in the Development Research Group of the World Bank, economist in the GATT Secretariat, and visiting positions at SciencesPo, Paris.

Bernard is a graduate of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and he obtained his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.
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publication
Value chain approaches to reducing policy spillovers on international business

Government policy can add to the costs of doing international business. It can distort the construction of and raise the costs of operation of global value chains (GVCs), to the detriment of the participating economies. Given rising technological and market-driven headwinds confronting GVCs, countries seeking to attract GVC activities have greater incentives to identify and address policies that negatively affect international business investment. Cooperation of businesses with regulators, analysts, and researchers has the scope to develop better policy. This paper suggests principles for the design and operation of such cooperation, drawing on the experience with multi-stakeholder value chain partnerships and the policy responses to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

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publication
Global Value Chains: Inter-Industry Linkages, Trade Costs and Policies
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Global Supply Chains and Trade Policy Responses to the 2008 Crisis

The collapse in trade and the contraction of output that occurred during 2008–9 was comparable to, and in many countries more severe than, the Great Depression of the 1930s. However, it did not give rise to the rampant protectionism that followed the Great Crash. The idea that the rise in the fragmentation of production across global value chains – vertical specialization – may be a deterrent against protectionism is underappreciated in the literature. Institutions also played a role in limiting the extent of protectionist responses. World Trade Organization discipline raises the cost of using trade policies for member countries and has proved to be a stable foundation for the open multilateral trading system that has been built over the past 50 years. Using trade and protection data for seven large emerging market countries that have a history of active use of trade policy, the influence of these and other factors on trade policy responses to the 2008 crisis are empirically examined. An instrumental variables strategy is used to identify their impact. Participation in global value chains is found to be a powerful economic factor determining trade policy responses.

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publication
Supply Chains, Mega-Regionals and Multilateralism: A Road Map for the WTO

At the 9th Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Bali it was agreed to develop a work program to conclude the long-running Doha round. This report argues that any work program should recognize that goods and services are increasingly produced in international supply chains. Many of the policies impacting on supply chain trade are on the negotiating table; others are not. The WTO takes a “silo approach”, addressing policy areas in isolation. This may reduce the relevance of WTO agreements as the marginal effect of agreement on one policy instrument may be minimal if the cost-raising effects of others are not addressed in parallel. Complementing market-access and rule-making negotiations with a supply chain framework may help to construct an overall package spanning the different policy areas that are on the table, and to identify policy areas that are not, but should be discussed. Greater use of the WTO for deliberation on trade policy matters and learning from the experience of regional trade agreements, complemented by an effort to create greater space for new plurilateral agreements among groups of WTO Members, could help bolster the relevance of the WTO as a forum for multilateral cooperation on trade.

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