COVID-19 has brought significant disruption to international trade and has revealed countries’ reliance on ad-hoc unilateral actions in response to crisis. Both trade restrictive and trade facilitating measures have been taken to combat the pandemic, but overall, their effectiveness has been undermined by lack of coordination. This course, co-organized by ESCAP and USAID, aims to build capacity of stakeholders in selected member countries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) on developing trade agreements that can promote greater preparedness and resilience of parties when faced with future pandemics and crises.
The course is based on material developed as part of the UN global Initiative on Model Provisions for Trade in Times of Crisis and Pandemic in Regional and Other Trade Agreements (IMP), notably the UN Handbook on Provisions and Options for Trade in Times of Crisis and Pandemic.
Prof. Katrin Kuhlmann, Visiting Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Centre and President and Founder, New Markets Lab, who is also the lead author of the Handbook. Her areas of research and expertise include international economic law, law and development, regional trade agreements and comparative economic law. She is also a member of the Trade Advisory Committee on Africa at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). In addition to practicing trade and corporate law at two international law firms, she spent six years as a trade negotiator with the USTR’s Office, where she focused on WTO accession negotiations, regional trade, non-tariff measures, intellectual property rights, and agricultural issues. She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a BA in Economics from Creighton University. Prof. Kuhlman is the leading author of the course reading and recorded video lectures for the course.
Self-paced e-learning (22 November-9 December): the participants will use the ESCAP e-learning platform to read the Handbook chapters, watch pre-recorded video lectures (including an introductory session and 9 subject-specific sessions of about 10-15 minutes each – corresponding to the Handbook content), and complete the quizzes.
Live sessions (5 December-7 December): following the self-paced e-learning part, there will be 3 interactive live sessions to provide clarification on quiz questions and deeper discussion with invited experts.
Participants will get a certificate issued by ESCAP and USAID after studying course materials, attending live sessions, passing all quizzes and filling the course evaluation survey.