• Professor Sungjoon Cho

    Sungjoon Cho

    Associate Professor of Law and Norman and Edna Freehling Scholar

    – Go to his faculty biography

    – Go to his publications:

       SSRN: http://papers.ssrn.com
       Bepress: http://works.bepress.com/sungjoon_cho/

    Are Trade Wars Missing the Point? (Part II)

    by  • February 12, 2019 • Faculty Commentary • 0 Comments

    Cho_Sungjoon thumbBy Sungjoon Cho [originally posted on the International Economic Law and Policy Blog on February 12, 2019]


    In the previous post, I introduced main finding of the recent McKinsey report (“Globalization in Transition: The Future of Trade and Value Chains.”)  The report highlighted the growing importance of services and the relative decline of goods production in global value chains (GVCs).  Likewise, GVCs have become more technology and knowledge-intensive.  In addition, “regional” value chains have become prominent as emerging economies mature and are now capable of insourcing more of intermediate products, which they used to import from advanced economies.  Then, what would be possible implications of those new phenomena to the WTO? (more…)

    Are Trade Wars Missing the Point? (Part I)

    by  • February 6, 2019 • Faculty Commentary • 0 Comments

    Cho_Sungjoon thumbBy Sungjoon Cho [originally posted on the International Economic Law and Policy Blog on February 5, 2019]


    The answer might be in the affirmative according to the recent report by McKinsey Global Institute, titled “Globalization in Transition: The Future of Trade and Value Chains.”  Here is a summary of its main findings.

    1. “Goods-producing value chains have grown less trade-intensive.”
    2. “Services play a growing and undervalued role in global value chains.”
    3. “Trade based on labor-cost arbitrage is declining in some value chains.”
    4. “Global value chains are growing more knowledge-intensive.”
    5. “Value chains are becoming more regional and less global.”

    On its face, this report might seem to play the same gloomy tune as “slowbalization.”  However, the McKinsey report does not equate this new phenomenon with the decline of globalization.  On the contrary, it attributes the phenomenon as the economic maturation of emerging economies, such as China, India, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, which are “now consuming more of what they produce.”  By 2030, developing countries’ consumption will exceed a half of global consumption. (more…)

    The Dawn of the e-WTO

    by  • January 27, 2019 • Scholarship • 0 Comments

    Cho_Sungjoon thumbBy Sungjoon Cho


    On the sidelines of the Davos World Economic Forum this week, seventy six WTO member countries agreed to launch a negotiation on electronic commerce.  Yes, we all know that e-commerce has recently been skyrocketing, becoming part of our everyday lives.  Meanwhile, the WTO has been criticized for having failed to provide effective multilateral rules to regulate e-commerce.  I see a bit of déjà vu from the Uruguay Round here, in particular within the context of the North-South tension.  Developed countries such as the United States, the European Union and Japan are spearheading this new initiative, while developing countries such as China and India seem to be lukewarm about the initiative.  China joined the initiative with the reservation that developing countries’ concerns must be reflected. India argued that the Doha Development Round must be addressed before starting a new set of negotiations in the WTO. (more…)

    The Resiliency of the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism (Or Not)

    by  • January 12, 2019 • Faculty Commentary • 0 Comments

    Cho_Sungjoon thumbBy Sungjoon Cho [originally posted on the International Economic Law and Policy Blog on January 10, 2019]


    Many worry that the current United States–China trade wars, and negotiations therefrom, might undermine the WTO dispute settlement mechanism (DSM).  Curiously, however, both the United States and China have not completely bypassed the WTO DSM.

    In fact, both countries have invoked the WTO DSM in tandem with their unilateral/bilateral engagements outside of the WTO.  For example, China sued the United States for the latter’s punitive tariffs against the former (here and here).  The United States also filed a complaint against China regarding the latter’s alleged violation of TRIPS, in addition to its execution of the Section 301 procedure on the same complaint.

    One might surmise that the U.S.’ such actions are in contrast to its recent blocking of new Appellate Body members.  So, can we say comfortably that the WTO DSM is resilient?  Or, are these all about merely anteing up political rhetoric?

    Here Come the Sun Wars: Trade Fights over Solar Panels

    by  • August 8, 2013 • Faculty Commentary • 0 Comments

    Cho_Sungjoon thumbBy Sungjoon Cho [originally posted at The National Law Journal]


    Undoubtedly, our existence depends on the sun. The whole ecological system, in which humans are part, would not sustain without it. One fascinating, albeit often underappreciated, fact is that this particular source of energy is fail-safe. From Day One, the sun has never neglected its job: It always rises in the morning. Also, it is limitless, at least for the next billion years.

    No wonder the sun has carried the symbol of power in the human history, ranging from the Pharaoh to the Louis XIV.

    Recently, however, earthlings have discovered new ways of basking in the sunshine: photovoltaic modules, also known as solar panels. They have somehow managed to extract electricity from the sun. Two main drawbacks from conventional energy sources — high prices and environmental degradation — have compelled humans to go back to the good old sun. What a happy marriage of modern science and business!

    The statistics on the recent growth of solar energy (photovoltaic power) are staggering. For the past five years, an average annual growth rate of global total solar power has been more than 50 percent. For Germany, solar power production increased from 24 megawatts (MW) in 2001 to 2, 022 MW in 2010. In the case of China, the number is even more astounding: only 3 MW in 2001 to 10, 852 MW in 2010! In the United States, the size of the solar cell and panel market has grown fivefold between 2006 and 2010. (more…)

    Cho on the WTO and Copyright Piracy at HuffPost

    by  • February 21, 2013 • Faculty Commentary, Scholarship • 0 Comments

    Click here to read “The WTO and Copyright Piracy,” a recent article written by Professor Sungjoon Cho and trade policy analyst Simon Lester (Cato Institute) for the Huffington Post. The article centers around a recent high-profile trade dispute between Antigua and the U.S and offers a pointed analysis of the WTO’s role in mediating disputes.

    For more of Professor Cho’s scholarship on the WTO, visit his Bepress page here.