International Trade Law


Stream Leader: Associate Professor Weihuan Zhou

International trade law has always been at the centre of policy and academic debates worldwide and has immense and far-reaching impacts on cross-border commercial activities. Faced with the dramatic disruption in global trade caused by COVID-19 and the rising protectionism and nationalism in major economies, it has become even more important to governments, businesses and other stakeholders. The existential challenge is how international trade rules should be designed and enforced so as to accommodate different economic models and regulatory goals/priorities/preferences and to benefit all countries and stakeholders involved. 

The International Trade Law stream aims to undertake pioneering and cutting-edge research on the most fundamental and systemic challenges/issues in international trade regulation. With a primary focus on the nexus between China and international trade law, our goal is to make original and substantive contributions to the policy and academic debates about China’s role in the global trading system, how best to engage with China in international cooperation on trade policymaking and more broadly the ways to advance or reform the existing trade rules at multilateral/plurilateral/bilateral levels, and other related topics. Our goal is also to enhance the public understanding of, and lead the public debate about, these issues and to provide practical guidance for businesses in and outside Australia on their trading and other dealings with China in global or regional markets. 

Our recent and ongoing projects include (but not limited to):

  • Ongoing Reforms of State-owned Enterprises in China and International Trade Regulation
  • Chinese Industrial Policies and Subsidies: The Utility of Current Trade Rules and Future Reform
  • Australia-China Trade Relations: Economic Realities, Legal Challenges and Policy Responses
  • China’s Reorientation of Green Subsidies for Sustainable Development and Implications for its Trading Partners and the World Trading System
  • Recent Developments of China’s Approaches to National Security
  • The Belt and Road Initiative, free trade agreements and the like