From the WSJ:
Our suggestion is to launch a Crisis Round of trade talks at the G-20 London summit meeting next month. This round would aim to hold the line on protectionism and prevent the deterioration of current levels of global trade openness. For this round to have timely effect, it must be concluded within a year. Here's how it would work:
First, the round would have realistic goals. It would be confined to the key protectionist pressures and would not seek new liberalization given the current political climate. Instead, countries would legally commit in the WTO to freeze, for a fixed period of time -- say three years -- their current trade policies across the board.
Second, the agenda would address today's new protectionism. On antidumping action, the threshold for taking such actions would be raised. On government procurement -- which has acquired additional significance because of fiscal stimulus plans and the expansion of government ownership -- industrial countries would promise not to discriminate against developing countries, in return for the latter agreeing to make procurement practices more transparent. On environmentally motivated trade restrictions, all countries would agree to do nothing until an international agreement on climate change is negotiated.
This agenda must be complemented by new legal rules that support expeditious enforcement. One way to do that is through an accelerated WTO dispute settlement procedure. The object of preserving the status quo would be defeated if prolonged violations were tolerated simply because of a slow-moving dispute-settlement process.
Third, the Crisis Round would focus on the major economies only, given that the biggest threats to free trade come from the largest trading partners. Having all 153 WTO members participate would delay an agreement. The interests of all members would be helped, not hindered, by the large countries desisting from protectionist measures.