The University of Sussex’s Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy launches today
By: Tom Walters
Last updated: Wednesday, 8 June 2022
The Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy is launched in London today, Tuesday 17 May, with an event at the Department for International Trade. The Centre is the ‘brainchild’ of the University of Sussex team behind the UK Trade Policy Observatory – Prof L. Alan Winters and Prof Michael Gasiorek, who are its co-directors - and sees the creation of a hub of expertise on global inclusive trade policy.
To mark its launch, the Centre has published three new blogs exploring what inclusive trade policy means, by: Prof Michael Gasiorek on the 57 varieties of inclusive trade policy; Prof L. Alan Winters on the etiquette of good governance; and Dr Viviane Gray and Dr Billy Melo Araaujo on inclusive trade policy process.
The Centre, the first dedicated to trade policy to be funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), will be built on the precept that trade policy should be inclusive in both policy formulation and outcome.
Inclusive Trade Policy typically refers to the distributional consequences of trade policy. In short: who are the winners and losers?
In this way there are many dimensions of inclusivity, that all take equal precedence. This could be through geographical location; education or skill level, gender; as employers, employees, consumers, and the households they are part of; and the impact of policies now on the environment. All of which will be the focus of the work in the new Centre.
In addition, the Centre itself includes researchers in all four UK nations, in five disciplines and at all stages of their careers, and with a commitment to hear the voices of all parts of UK society. The team comprises scholars from economics, law, business management, politics and international relations.
The Centre’s objectives include conducting frontier disciplinary and interdisciplinary research into international trade and policy; applying research skills to pressing practical trade problems; and informing public debate. In essence the Centre will analyse inclusivity in the process of setting of trade policy.
Led by Professors L. Alan Winters and Michael Gasiorek at the University of Sussex, the Centre brings together researchers from all four UK nations – including from the University of Nottingham, the University of Strathclyde, Queen’s University Belfast, Cardiff University and the University of Cambridge - and several overseas universities to create the UK’s first interdisciplinary research centre in international trade. The team comprises scholars from economics, law, business management, politics and international relations.
In addition to the universities involved, the Centre comprises nine partners: Ernst & Young LLP (EY), Fieldfisher LLP, the International Trade Group of the Professional and Business Services Council, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Trade Justice Movement and trade officials in all four UK administrations, which includes the Department for International Trade.
Formulating an effective trade policy that delivers something for all parts of society in such circumstances requires an evidence-based interdisciplinary approach – which the Centre aims to provide.
Professor Winters, Centre Co-director and Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex Business School, said:
“International trade is of huge importance in the British economy, and now for the first time in fifty years the UK has to design its own trade policies. The Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy was established by scholars from all over the country to provide independent analysis and evidence-based expertise on trade and trade policy, in order to help create a policy that is inclusive both in its formulation and its outcomes across UK society.”
The London event on Tuesday 17 May includes speeches from Crawford Falconer, Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser and Second Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Trade, and Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town, Member of the House of Lords and Chair of the International Agreements Committee. Also speaking will be Prof Giovanni Facchini, Deputy Director, Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy and Professor of Economics, University of Nottingham; and Prof L. Alan Winters CB, Co-Director, Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy and Professor of Economics, University of Sussex.