The Freezing of the Unfrozen Moment: The Importance of Timing and Sequencing in Trade Negotiations


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  • The timing and sequencing of trade negotiations is a subject that does not command much attention from commentators.  Yet, many of the substantive discussions are in danger of becoming academic if this issue is not better understood.

  • By contrast, the EU has shown a much stronger mastery of how the timing can be used to their advantage.  The EU is the master of running the clock out on negotiations, and of setting up the chessboard to limit the parties’ freedom of action.

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Shanker is an IEA Trade Fellow, having previously been the Director of the International Trade and Competition Unit (ITCU) of the Institute of Economic Affairs. As one of the world’s leading trade and competition lawyers, he has worked on the privatisation of the UK electricity market, the transition of the Soviet, Central and Eastern European economies and the apertura in Latin America. He has worked on the accession of Poland and Hungary to the EU, the WTO accessions of a number of countries, including China and Russia. Shanker was educated at St. Paul’s School, London and has an M.A in Chemistry from Balliol College, Oxford University and postgraduate legal degrees in both the UK and US.