Dr. Thomas A. Zimmermann studied European Economics and Management at the University of Bamberg (Germany). In 1998, he became a researcher at the Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research (SIAW-HSG) at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), where he obtained his doctoral degree with a thesis on WTO dispute settlement reform in 2004.
Since 2003 Dr. Zimmermann has been working for the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in Berne, Switzerland. He first was in charge of bilateral economic relations between Switzerland and North America (2003-2006), then served as chief of staff (2006-2009) and is now in charge of the Organisation, Law and Accreditation division, while also serving as a member of the Board at SECO. At the same time, he continues to be a research associate at SIAW-HSG, teaching International Economics at various institutions.
The Multilateral Trading System (WTO)
The key objective of this course is to provide students with an overview of the multilateral trading system and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). This course includes: an introduction to the economic, political and institutional context of globalisation; an overview of the structure and of the objectives of the WTO; the main legal principles of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and selected side agreements, the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), and the Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS); the role and functioning of the WTO dispute settlement system; the relationship between the WTO and preferential trade agreements; developing countries in the WTO; current issues and challenges to the multilateral trading system.