Commercial Diplomacy

Universidad EAFIT

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Commercial Diplomacy

  • Host University

    Universidad EAFIT

  • Location

    Medellín, Colombia

  • Area of Study

    Business, International Business, International Politics, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

    48
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4
  • Overview

    1. JUSTIFICATION
    Commercial diplomacy is one of the most important fields in international negotiation
    and dispute resolution. Referring to the process of influencing foreign policy and
    regulatory measures through multilateral negotiations, commercial diplomacy deals
    with business and investment promotion, political decision-making and trade-related
    issues. Commercial Diplomats emerge as a new class of professionals among
    international negotiators due to the increasing need for policy coordination and the
    new challenges of international economic negotiations.
    2. COURSE OBJECTIVE
    Students will develop analytical skills and research methods to understand the
    complex process of policy-making affecting trade and investment, in order to
    translate domestic decisions into coherent negotiation positions in diferent fora. The
    purpose of this course is to analyze key issues in commercial diplomacy when
    building consensus for trade and bussines negotiations: that is the case of domestic
    policy (decision-making/two track diplomacy), coherence and conflict between
    international organizations, special interests of developing countries, current
    multilateral negotiations and trade-related issues (Intelectual Property Rights,
    Investment, Competition Policy, trade in services, environmental and technical
    standards).
    2
    3. COURSE PROGRAM
    UNIT 1 WHAT IS COMMERCIAL DIPLOMACY?
    Objective:
    Analyze the epistemic roots of Commercial Diplomacy and its connection with
    international negotiation and trade law. In this module we are going to identify the
    actors, schemes and challenges embedded in international trade negotiation and
    business promotion.
    Planned Reading:
    UNIT 2 MEDIA ANALYSIS AND LOBBY CAMPAIGNS FOR COMMERCIAL
    DIPLOMACY
    Objective:
    Business and investment promotion are important pieces of commercial diplomacy.
    In this module we are going to study the organization and planning of commercial
    diplomacy, especially by analyzing the structure and practices embedded in the most
    active and prominent promotion agencies/institutions for international economic
    negotiations.
    UNIT 3 Seven tracks of diplomacy: the politics of trade and FDI (domestic
    institutions and policymaking) FOREIGN POLICY MAKING
    Objective:
    To analyze the ideas of “two track diplomacy” and “two level games” when planning
    trade negotiations. In this module we are going to identify domestic issues that shape
    diplomatic strategies for bilateral, regional and multilateral negotiations. Together
    with those issues, we will identify the organizational priorities embedded in domestic
    institutions and foreign policy decisions.
    Planned Reading:
    3
    • VAN GRASSTEK, Craig. “The challenges of trade Policymaking: Analysis,
    communication, and Representation”.
    • BARTON, Jhon; GOLDSTEIN, Judith; JOSLING, Timothy and STEINBERG,
    Richard. “The evolution of trade regime” chapter VI.
    UNIT 4 Seven tracks of diplomacy: the politics of trade and FDI (domestic
    institutions and policymaking) PART II
    Objective:
    To analyze the ideas of “two track diplomacy” and “two level games” when planning
    trade negotiations. In this module we are going to identify domestic issues that shape
    diplomatic strategies for bilateral, regional and multilateral negotiations. Together
    with those issues, we will identify the organizational priorities embedded in domestic
    institutions and foreign policy decisions.
    To study the contribution international organizations and NGO´s for strengthening
    capacity for trade negotiations, particularly in the case of developing countries.
    Planned Reading:
    • Petersmann, Ernst-Ulrich. Reforming The World Trading System: Legitimacy,
    efficiency, and Democratic Governance. Chapter ten: Operationalizing the
    Concept of Policy Space in the WTO: Beyond Special and Differential
    Treatment. pp. 223-289.
    UNIT 5 Lobby and Advocacy in Commercial Diplomacy
    Objective:
    Communication strategies and media relations are important issues in every single
    international negotiation, especially in trade-related issues. The idea of participation
    of civil society in decision-making processes and the relevance of transparency are
    core issues in current trade negotiations. In this module we are going to identify the
    characteristics of lobby for commercial diplomacy, the importance of public relations
    and the main challenges for negotiators.
    4
    Planned Reading:
    • VanGrasstek, Craig. 2007. “The Challenges of Trade Policymaking: Analysis,
    Communication, and Representation,” Part III (pages 26-43).
    unit 6 Negotiating Market Access in Agriculture
    Objective:
    To identify the core issues when negotiating market access: type of rules (National
    Treatment and MFN), and the two methods of definition of the scope of obligations
    when negotiating trade (advantages and disadvantages): “Negative “Lists/ “TopDown”
    obligations and “Positive” lists/ “Bottom-up” obligations. This module will
    address the particular case of negotiation in agriculture.
    Planned Reading:
    • Training Module for Multilateral Trade Negotiations on Agriculture. UNCTAD
    publications. 2006
     UNIT 7 Negotiating technical standards and non tariff barriers
    Objective:
    Domestic matters, or ‘behind the border rule-making’, acts increasingly as a non-tariff
    barrier to international trade. This module analyses the extent to which international
    trade negotiations and trade law seeks to achieve a balance between promotion of
    international trade and protection of legitimate domestic interests. Topics include
    food safety and public health, product quality and consumer protection, national,
    regional and international standardization, and the impact of such measures on
    developing countries.
    Planned Reading:
    • Deloitte, Changing China : Will China’s technology standards reshape your
    industry?, available at
    http://www.fast50france.com/PDF/Changing_China_2004.pdf
    • Mattli, Walter, and Buethe, ‘Setting International Standards: Technological
    Rationality or Primacy of Power’, World Politics, 56, 2003, pp. 1-42
    5
    • Nicolaidis, Kalypso, and Schaffer, Gregory, ‘Transnational Mutual Recognition
    Regimes: Governance without Global Government’, Law & Contemporary
    Problems, 68,3, 2005, pp. 263-317
    • Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement)
    UNIT 8 The role of the diplomats
    Objective:
    This module addresses key issues in services negotiations as one of the most
    important schemes for commercial diplomacy. Explores key sectorial negotiating
    challenges in economic sectors, paying special attention to the challenge of labor
    mobility, key political economy constrains arising from services and market opening
    as well as the competence of commercial diplomats and their role of representation
    and negotiation.
    Planned Reading:
    • Hoekman, B.M. and Kostecki, M.M. (2001) The Political Economy of World
    Trading System, 2nd edn., Oxford University Press, pp. 237-258
    • Trebilcock, M.J. and Howse, R. (2005) The Regulation of International
    Trade, 3rd edn, Routledge: London, pp. 347-353 and 357-376
    UNIT 9 International Public Relations: Colombia as scenario of image and
    reputation
    Objective:
    To familiarize students with international variations in IPR´s that have been the
    subject of trade conflict for many years. This module focuses on the effects of IPR in
    competition policies ad trade negotiations. This module will analyze the role of IPR
    in for developing countries especially for the case of dispute resolution and crossretaliation.

    Planned Reading:
    • ABBOTT, Frederick. “Cross-Retaliation” in TRIPS: issues of Law and Practice.
    International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)
    6
    UNIT 10 Intercultural Communication within Diplomacy
    Objective:
    To analyze the relationship and tensions between international trade negotiations
    and cultural protection (one of the main challenges that the World Trade
    Organization) This module addresses the problem as it is reflected in the current
    debate on Geographical Indications (GIs) especially for food and wine products in
    the WTO, identifying its connection with concerns related to degradation of cultural
    diversity
    Planned Reading:
    • BROUDE, Tomer. “ Taking `Trade and Culture seriously: geographical
    indications and Cultural Protection in WTO Law. 2005
    • WTO website: Geographical Indications:
    http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/TRIPs_e/gi_e.htm
    UNIT 11 Green Diplomacy and Commercial Diplomacy: building linkages for
    trade and sustainable development
    Objective:
    To identify the current tensions related to environment negotiations and trade issues.
    Analyze the connections and divergences when implementing commercial diplomacy
    and environmental policy. In this module we are going to address the different
    negotiation positions among state and non-state actors in a post Doha Round
    context.
    7
    UNIT 12 Diplomacy and competitiveness
    This module will analyze the importance of straightening and building capacity for
    trade and competitiveness. We will analyze examples of successful commercial
    diplomacy in action as a strategy for power leverage in international negotiations.
    UNIT 13 Concluding remarks
    To make a final overview of all the discussions and workshops held during the course.
    Identify the main challenges that arose in the course in order to evaluate the learning
    experience.
    4. ASSESSMENT
    1. CASE STUDY 15% - individual
    Over conceptual development through the glasses of a documented case related to
    commercial diplomacy.
    2. WORKSHOP 15% - teams
    Discussion and construction of a case
    3. CLASS PROJECT ONAAC 70% - individual
    Research and analysis of a topic within commercial opportunities
    Public dissertation of your findings. Both activities will be assessed.
    Divided into:
    -initial search 20%
    -Rough draft 20%
    -Final paper and presentation 30%