Trade law and policy is front and center in today’s business climate, on the news and in election debates around the globe.  Each year, Global Trade Academy (GTA) cohorts meet in a seminar-like atmosphere on the Georgetown Law campus to explore the past, present and future of the global trading system, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), with the world’s leading global trade experts.  One of IIEL’s signature Executive Education programs, the GTA both examines the legal foundations and constitutional underpinnings of the WTO and its agreements and offers a deep dive into the most cutting-edge global trade issues of the day.  Program faculty ensure participants are equipped to answer the tough questions in today’s era of globalization backlash, including:

  • What are today’s most critical international commercial issues?
  • What is the future of the WTO and the Appellate Body, in particular?
  • How well are the WTO’s dispute mechanisms working and what reforms may be needed?
  • How does the WTO relate to other global institutional and transnational commercial actors?
  • What about other regional trade agreements? and
  • What is the impact of U.S. President Trump’s trade policies on the global commercial landscape?


The Academy examines the legal obligations and policy underpinnings of the WTO and its agreements, in the context of how the WTO operates and how it relates to national governments.  It strengthens participants’ critical thinking about the role of the WTO in solving real-world commercial problems, and addresses fundamental policy challenges.  Participants come away with an excellent understanding of all of the requisite fundamentals, including:

  • The Structure & Origins of the WTO
  • Foundational Principles
  • Nuts & Bolts re: Trade in Goods & Trade in Services
  • Agriculture
  • General and Specific Exceptions
  • Intellectual Property Protection
  • Relationship to Other Trade & Investment Agreements
  • WTO Dispute Settlement

Academy participants will explore the most pressing global trade issues of the day within and beyond the WTO system, such as:

  • Trade, Environment & Climate Change
  • Investment Issues
  • International Monetary Affairs and Financial Regulation
  • The Digital Economy – Digital Trade, Privacy & Fintech
  • Hot-button International Tax Issues
  • Developing Country Issues & Interests
  • WTO & Other Trade Negotiations
  • Ethical Issues in Global Transactions


Academy Faculty hail from diverse backgrounds, including academia, government, law firms, the diplomatic corps, the corporate world, and NGOs.  All are global trade experts of the highest order, and many presenters have a rich background negotiating the international trade agreements at issue.  The GTA’s stellar faculty roster is led by IIEL Executive Director Grant Aldonas, former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce; Georgetown Law Professor from Practice Jennifer Hillman, former WTO Appellate Body member; and head of Sidley Austin’s Trade Practice and Georgetown University Adjunct Professor, Andy Shoyer.


IIEL Executive Education programs are designed to build knowledge and networks to facilitate engagement in the international economic legal system, by training legal professionals, public policy officials, members of the international business, IGO and NGO communities, academics, and others – including those from developing countries and transition economies.

Academy Participants represent a wide variety of institutions.  Recent attendees have hailed from organizations including:

  • Canadian International Trade Tribunal
  • Embassy of Canada
  • Embassy of Spain
  • Embassy of New Zealand
  • European Commission
  • Export-Import Bank of the United States
  • General Electric
  • General Motors Company
  • Government of Canada-Department of Industry
  • Millennium Challenge Corporation
  • Numerous private law firms from the United States and abroad
  • New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • U.S. Embassy, Beijing
  • U.S. Trade and Development Agency
  • U.K. Mission to the WTO

In order to enhance each participant’s learning experience, space may be limited.  Therefore, early registration is always recommended.  Given the nature of IIEL’s seminar-style Executive Education programs, Georgetown Law students who are interested in participating should reach out to the Institute to further discuss.  IIEL Fellows are invited under separate cover.  The program brochure can be found here.

Comments are closed.