International Trade Role of Leadership Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

The recent change in his designation will put him in greater pressure to display neutrality in such cases as heads WTO.

The role of Brazil in shifting its trade policy from an underdeveloped protectionist Latin American country towards becoming one of the fastest growing emerging economies with trade reforms will also be vital. Azevedo has to ensure that trade violations by Brazil do not go unchecked. Since the paramount responsibility of WTO remains to aid the process of trade liberalization, the role if its leader will be vital. Azevedo's predecessor did not achieve much success in bringing countries to liberalize their trade policies. The 'Doha' round spanning over a period of ten years did not yield much good results as well for the trade liberalization. The other impediments in Azevedo's way are the protectionist policies of Brazilian president Rousseff. Higher customs duties and tax incentives were provided by Rousseff to protect domestic industries. This was cited as an intervention in the role of local institutions of Brazil liberalizing the trade. Now Azevedo has been tasked to balance the amount of 'protectionism' that he would allow while being charged with dispensing justice to the majority of the countries who appeal against Brazil's role in protecting her domestic industries. The role of Brazil has been expanding in the last few years, while the country has increased her influence in WTO and other international institutions. As occurred in a recent article of the Guardian, "Azevedo's acid test will probably come in December, barely three months after taking office, with the ninth WTO ministerial conference in Bali. He will need all his talent to avoid further deadlock, at a time when people all over the world are asking what purpose the organization serves"(Broucier, 2013, Para 10). The main challenge for Azevedo will be bring back the leading role of WTO to host some serious trade agreement negotiations. As mentioned in the text of analyzed book, the rise in RTAs has led to a decrease in the role of WTO as a major player in international trade. Since RTAs are negotiated without the support or active participation of WTO, it is increasingly argued that WTO has got changed into a 'dispute resolution' forum only that happens to be only one forum within WTO. Although, Azevedo has stated that he would be setting off his 'Brazilian hat' to forge more close consensus between developed and developing countries, there are reservations as to how in the presence of such pervasive and deeply entrenched RTAs will enable a truly global free trade (Heilprin, 2013). Nonetheless, Brazil after analyzing the text and conducting independent research, it is safe to assume that drastic changes in WTO role in international trade might not take place. The main rationale is that domestic interest groups of Brazil are deeply entrenched in lobbying protectionism for several of Brazil's industries. Brazil has one of the lowest trade-to-GDP ratios (Kleckner, 2013) amongst the countries that were in the race to the top slot WTO.


The text provides an insight into the theoretical basis of international trade and how the policies of trade are formulated in countries. Domestic interest groups, political institutions, exchange rate, factoral and sectoral preferences, and international politics are described as the main forces that shape trade policy formulation. The change in ideas regarding trade is also termed as an important source of modification in trade policies of different countries and Brazil has been cited as the appropriate example of that. WTO has been at the center of dispute resolution amongst member states and the role of this international institution has now become questionable due to its becoming non-entity. The rise in number of RTAs that undermine true global free trade, have been cited as the main source of concern to the future of free trade. Azevedo, Brazil's top WTO diplomat has been appointed as WTO's head and the appointment is being seen as a challenge for Azevedo and for Brazil to prove sustained support to the cause of free trade.


BBC News Business. (2013. May). WTO names Roberto Azevedo as new Head. BBC News. Retrieved from:

Bourcier, N. (2013, May). Roberto Azevedo's WTO Appointment gives Brazil a set at the Top Table. The Guardian. Retrieved from:

Heilprin, J. (2013, May). Brazil's Roberto Azevedo Chosen as Next World Trade Organization Director General. Huffington Post. Retrieved from:

Kleckner, D. (2013, May). Will Azevedo revive WTO. Western Farm Press. Retrieved from:

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