New ICC Report
The Circular Economy and International Trade: Options for the World Trade Organization
This report explores the interface between trade and a transition to a more circular economy. In today’s highly integrated economy, international trade plays a critical role in facilitating this transition, by exploiting existing comparative advantages and allowing economies of scale. Goods and services already cross borders at virtually all stages of the circular value chain, from upstream design services to remanufactured goods and secondary raw materials. Yet trade policies are not always aligned with circularity objectives. Similarly, policies aimed at fostering a circular economy can have detrimental effects on trade even if unintended. As the role of trade and trade policy attracts more attention, understanding how it can effectively support a circular economy transition becomes critical for policy makers.