Transnational Corporations Review
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2022 International Conference Call for Papers


Rethinking International Trade System:

Engaging with China Linking to Ag Trade and Policy Collaborations


Special Advisers/Guest Editors Proposed


Lars Brink, Independent Advisor, formerly with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Eric Maskin, Professor of Harvard University, 2007 Nobel Laureate in Economics

John Whalley, Professor & Director, China Research and Policy Group, Western University

Shujie Yao, Distinguished Professor, Chongqing University


Overview of the Issue

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has announced that the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) will take place in Geneva from November 30 to December 3, 2021. As the highest decision-making entity, the Ministerial Conference is attended by trade ministers and other senior officials from the organization’s 164 members. In June 2021, Chair of the agriculture negotiations, Ambassador Gloria Abraham Peralta (Costa Rica) outlined a workable deal on agricultural trade. In July 2021, Chair of the General Council, Ambassador Dacio Castillo (Honduras), urged the WTO members to focus on priority issues for outcomes. Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai on September 8, 2021 discussed that the WTO must remain a relevant force for good and demonstrate its ability to advance a global trade agenda that increases shared prosperity.


Since its inception in 1995, the WTO has played an important role in promoting trade liberalization and facilitation, affecting over 98% of cross-border trade, supporting global economic stability and prosperity. Due to the recent upsurge of trade protectionism as well as the conflict between the world’s two powerful economies, the United States and China, coupled with some critical shortcomings in the world trade system, the WTO is facing challenges. Without reforms, the organization may not be able to fulfill its goal of promoting fair trade and inclusiveness favoring the disadvantaged small and medium sized developing economies. Reforms in international trade system, including agricultural and food policies, involve with many areas. These could include the improvement of the WTO’s relevance in international and multinational governance, the establishment of an efficient mechanism to deal with kinds of trade conflicts as well as the enhancement of administrative efficiencies. It would need to pay attention to agricultural subsidies, inclusiveness of the developing nations, and the prevention of economic powers using its own law and regulations to overwrite the commonly accepted rules of international trade order.


Many scholars and experts have seen that the multilateral trading system as embodied in the WTO is at a critical juncture. There is a growing consensus emerged about the importance of China to multinational trade system, including its reforms. This is not only because China is a major member as the largest trader in the globe, but also because there are inherent connections between international trade and China, the second largest economy in the world. Among the issues are closely intertwined with international trade and relevant trade policies. The difficulties besetting the agricultural trade policy may contribute to certain general paralysis. It could be clear that the implications of resolving the issues among agriculture go beyond this sector.


Proposed topics to explore


This call for papers, along with proposed special workshop during the summer 2022, aims at providing a platform to discuss the significant issues related to rethinking about international trade order. The discussion focusses on China’s role in multilateral trade system linking to sustainable development in agricultural and economic policies. It is also to explore international trade policy implications and collaborations on the better way forward. The topics may include but not limit to:


Rebuilding global value chains and food supply chains  

International trade restrictions and barriers

Government support and trade distortions

China’s history and values with its trade and development model

Changing integration and internationalization in China

China’s lessons and experiences on trade and trade policy

International food safety anxiety and sustainable food system

Pricing Carbon vs "Green" Border Protectionism

Energetic transition to build a carbon-neutral country

Principles-Based Trade Agreements and Outcomes

National and International Transparency

Resource Governance and International Trade 

Enabling Frictionless International Trading System


Important timelines  

We invite contributors to submit an abstract for about 300 words by December 31, 2021, together with each contributor’s email and affiliation. The subject line to submit an abstract should be “WTO & trade order”. The abstracts will be assessed by the high-level experts and editors. Contributors will be notified with comments and suggestions, including the acceptance or rejection of the abstracts.


To prepare for this unique collection, plus a special workshop (virtual or in-person) in July 8, 2022 (Friday, more information will follow), we expect for the final papers to be submitted no later than October 31, 2022 and the special collection will be published before the end of 2022.


The peer review process will be carefully conducted once a submission is received. Please note that the acceptance of abstracts or a submission of manuscripts does not necessarily imply the final papers to be published. All submissions go through a substantial review and revisions following the publisher’s standard processes.


For questions, suggestions, and more information, please contact Managing Editor Hugh Dang ( and/or Prof. Chunding Li ( and Prof. Hongwei Liao (


Annexes: Information related to this Call for Papers Initiative


· Proposed partner institutions

Ottawa United Learning Academy (OULA), Canada

School of Economics and Management, China Agricultural University (CAU)

School of Economics, Jilin University (JLU)

School of Economics, the University of Queensland, Australia

School of Economics, Zhejiang University (ZJU)

School of International Business, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE)


· Inviting learned journals

Asian Economic Papers (AEP), Published by MIT Press

Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics (CJAE), Published by Wiley Publisher

China Agricultural Economic Review (CAER), Emerald Group Publishing

Transnational Corporations Review (TNCR), Published by Taylor & Francis


· Advisory institutions (under consultation)

Ag Trade Promotion Center, Chinese Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Affairs (MOA)

Rural Economic Research Department, Development Research Center, the State Council

Institute of Rural Development, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)

Institute of Ag Economics and Development, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Australia

Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI)

Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA)

Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) 

Research & Analysis Directorate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)


· Proposed advisors/reviewers in Canada

Derek Brewin, Professor and Head of the Department Agribusiness and Ag Economics, the University of Manitoba

Lars Brink, Independent advisor, formerly with AAFC

Bernard Cantin, Director, Policy Analysis, RAD, AAFC

Wendy Dobson, Professor and Co-Director, the University of Toronto’s Rotman Institute for International Business

Jessy El-Choueiry, A/Director, Asia and Oceania Division, AAFC

Brad Gilmour, Mouralea Trade, Agriculture and Resource Consulting; formerly with AAFC

Wulong Gu, Senior Adviser, Economic Analysis, Statistics Canada

Jianmin Tang, Chief, Productivity and Competitiveness Analysis, ISED Canada

Yanling Wang, Professor and Deputy Director, Carleton University

John Whalley, Professor Emeritus and Director, China Research and Policy Group, Western University


· Proposed advisors/reviewers in China

Yibing Ding, Professor and Dean, School of Economics, Jilin University

Shenggen Fan, Chair Professor, CAU, Former Director General, IFPRI, the United States.

Wei Si, Dean and Professor of College of Economics and Management, CAU

Yang Han, Director of Rural Research Center, Development Research Center of the State Council

Bingchuan Hu, Director of ag trade department, Institute of Rural Development, CASS

Jikun Huang, Professor, School of Advanced Agricultural Sciences, Peking University, Director, Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences

Shiyuan Pan, Professor and Deputy Dean, School of Economics, Zhejiang University

Juguo Song, Deputy D.G., Ag Trade Promotion Center, Chinese Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Affairs, MOA

Wei Jia, Professor of Institute of Agricultural Economics and Development, CAAS

Jue Wang, Professor and Dean, School of International Business, SWUFE

Shujie Yao, Professor, School of Economics and Business Administration, Chongqing University


· Proposed advisors/reviewers in other countries/regions

Kevin Chen, Senior Researcher & China Program Leader, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) China & Former CIDA-China Ag Program 

Renuka Mahadevan, Associate Professor and Director of External Engagement, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia

Anne Miroux, Faculty Fellow at the Emerging Market Institute, Johnson School of Business at Cornell University

Karl Sauvant, Resident Senior Fellow at Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute at Columbia University

Sandy Suardi, Professor and Co-Director of Centre of Contemporary Australasian Business and Economics, University of Wollongong, Australia