WTO podcast: Let's Talk Trade

Trade is about people. It is about the connections it creates, the challenges it can bring and the opportunities it unleashes. A new WTO podcast, Let's Talk Trade, brings these stories to the fore.

Let's Talk Trade videos

Check out as well our Let's Talk Trade video series, available on the WTO website and social media platforms.


Every season, we dive into a different subject. We ask people to talk about how trade matters to them, and what the WTO's role is in all of this.


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Season 5

How much international trade is in the game of football, not just with regard to footballs and pitches but also in relation to players, broadcasting rights and gaming? In “Trade Goals”, a season about the global value chain of football, business representatives, football players, sports lawyers, WTO experts and others share their perspective on how football is a local game and a global product.  “Trade Goals” is hosted by the WTO's Michael Roberts.

Latest episode

Trade Goals: Rules and referees (S5 - Ep7)

Episode Summary

Without rules and referees, there would be no game. Each football match is policed by a referee who has full authority to enforce the law of the game. In multilateral trade, we have plenty of rules but no all-powerful referee to supervise them. Ultimate overview of trade disputes remains with the WTO members themselves. In this episode of the Trade Goals podcast, Michael Roberts and Antonia Carzaniga look at how football and trade disputes arise and how they are resolved.

We talked to:
Philippe Senderos, Sporting Director of Servette FC, Geneva
Sean Cottrell, Founder and CEO of the sports law knowledge hub LawInSport,
Carol Etter, Swiss Attorney-At-Law specialised in sports law and board member of FC Basel
Clarisse Morgan, Director of the WTO Rules Division
Valerie Hughes, Senior Counsel with law firm Bennett Jones, former Director of the WTO Legal Affairs and Appellate Body Divisions

Show notes
A world-famous football referee with a degree in economics
Pierluigi Collina (Wikipedia)

Peruvian and Chilean Football Associations file appeals with Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)
Media release by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on 30 September 2022

CAS ruling in the matter of the player Byron Castillo
Media release by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on 8 November 2022

Rules-based trade explained (video)
Video “Let's Talk Rules-Based Trade”

Learn more about the WTO dispute settlement mechanism
The WTO dispute settlement mechanism explained

Understanding the WTO: the agreements
Overview of WTO agreements

Laws of the Game 2021/2022
Download link to the Laws of the Game 2021/2022 from the FIFA website

25 November 2022

Previous episodes

Trade Goals: The Game (S5 - Ep6)

Episode Summary

Football video games are popular across the world, occupying an important share of the much larger e-sports universe of competitive video gaming. In this episode of the Trade Goals podcast, Michael Roberts and Antonia Carzaniga explore how playing the beautiful game in a virtual format brings together the different strands of trade law dealing with merchandise goods, services and intellectual property.

We talked to:
Chester King, Founder and CEO, British Esports Association, Vice President of the Board of the Global Esports Federation
Brendan Vickers, Adviser and Head, International Trade Policy, Commonwealth Secretariat, London
JJ Shaw, Senior Associate at the international law firm Lewis Silkin, London.

Special thanks to Melissa, Tamara, Tobias and Tosson and all the others who shared their video game experience with us during the “Futur en Tous Genres” day 2022, when children of staff members visited the WTO to get a better idea of the organization as a workplace.

Show notes:
The FIFAe Nations Cup 2022™
Brazil crowned world’s best FIFA esports nation

Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2022-2026
Report by consultants Price Waterhouse Coopers  

50 years of gaming history visualized
50 Years of Gaming History, by Revenue Stream (visualcapitalist.com)  

A short history of gaming (1970-2020)
50 Years Of Gaming History, By Revenue Stream (1970-2020) - Phil Davis (thestreet.com) 

Lear more about the ITA agreement:
WTO | Information Technology Agreement 

Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property Policy
WIPO conversation on intellectual property (IP) and artificial intelligence (AI)  

18 November 2022

Trade Goals: Fans (S5 - Ep5)

Episode Summary

Football fans' love of the game generates plenty of revenue. The major sources of income in football are merchandising, sponsorship and broadcasting rights. All of these rely on intellectual property (IP) rights. In this episode of the Trade Goals podcast, Wolf Meier-Ewert and Jana Borges cast light on how the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, also known as the TRIPS Agreement, enables players, clubs and football associations to monetize their IP through the sale of branded goods and broadcasting deals.

We talked to:
Loïc Luscher, Media & Communications Manager, Servette FC, Geneva
Alex Kelham, commercial and IP lawyer, Head of Sports Business Group at international law firm Lewis Silkin  
Víctor Umaña, CEO FIFA U20 World Cup Costa Rica.

Show notes:
View of Geneva from Mont Salève

The WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS):
The TRIPS Agreement explained 

WIPO reference guide: Sports and Intellectual Property

Poster with Servette FC jerseys from 1890 (in French): Shop du Servette FC 

Lewis Silkin sport business homepage: Lewis Silkin — Sports Business 

The relative financial performance of the highest revenue generating clubs in world football:
Deloitte Football Money League 2022

Official website of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Costa Rica 2022
FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2022™

15 November 2022

Trade Goals: Players (S5 - Ep4)

Episode Summary

A football game is a service and the clubs that are organizing football matches are providing recreational services. International trade rules may apply when the players on the pitch come from different countries, when a club is foreign-owned, when matches are broadcast internationally or when fans travel abroad to watch their favourite teams play. In this episode of the “Trade Goals” podcast,  Markus Jelitto and Antonia Carzaniga explore how the WTO’s Services Agreement (the GATS) applies to the beautiful game.

We talked to
Philippe Senderos, Sporting Director of Servette FC, Geneva
Raffaele Poli, Head of the Football Observatory at the International Centre for Sports Studies(CIES) in Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Carol Etter, a Swiss Attorney-At-Law specialised in sports law. Carol is also a board member of FC Basel
José Francisco Manssur, a Brazilian lawyer specialized in sports law
Fernando Roitman, Founder of CIES Sports Intelligence at the International Centre of Sport Studies (CIES) in Neuchâtel

Show notes:
Learn more about the WTO's Services Agreement (GATS)
The General Agreement on Trade in Services explained
WTO video about the GATS
Video: “Let's Talk Services Trade”

Statistical analysis of the football players’ labour market, the technical analysis of player performance and the scientific estimation of transfer values
The Football Observatory

Facts and figures about global football
FIFA Professional Football Report 2019

Deloitte Football Money League profiles the relative financial performance of the highest revenue generating clubs in world football.
Deloitte Football Money League 2022 | Deloitte UK

More about foreign investment in Brazilian football clubs
Football corporations in Brazil (SAF): new perspectives for foreign investment in Brazilian football teams | International Bar Association (ibanet.org)

8 November 2022

Trade Goals: Pitches (S5 - Ep3)

Episode Summary

An incredible amount of work is needed to create a perfect football pitch. A lot of international trade is involved, too. In this episode of the “Trade Goals” podcast, players rave about fast pitches, tournament organisers praise robust playing surfaces and seed industry representatives explain how international phytosanitary standards facilitate trade in turf. We will also touch upon the gender dimension of playing on the best possible pitch.

We talked to
Philippe Senderos, Sporting Director of Servette FC, Geneva
Pierre-Yves Bovigny, Maître d'enseignement HES, Institute of Landscape, Architecture, Construction and Territory (HEPIA), Geneva
Darrell Dziver, Vice President of Brett Young, Chair of the Forage and Turf Advisory Group for the International Seed Federation, Canada
Rose Souza Richards, Seed Health Manager, International Seed Federation, Switzerland
Carrie Serwetnyk, player with the Canada women's national soccer team 1986-1991, founder of “Equal Play FC”
Víctor Umaña, CEO FIFA U20 World Cup Costa Rica.

Learn more about the SPS Agreement:
Sanitary and phytosanitary measures explained
Video “Let's talk Food Safety”

The natural-versus-artificial-pitches controversy at the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada 
FIFA quality marks

Handout: The Socio-Economic Impact of Football (CIES)
Full Report: The Socio-Economic Impact of Football (CIES)

4 November 2022

Trade Goals: Footballs (S5 - Ep2)

Episode Summary

Footballs are an indispensable item in the global value chain of the beautiful game.  Manufacturing, distributing and selling the balls is a complex international business.  It is difficult to pinpoint where in the world a ball is actually made because the sourcing of raw materials, the design and the production happen in different countries. But one thing is certain: WTO agreements play an important role in easing trade in footballs. 

WTO experts Roy Santana, Michael Roberts and Úna Flanagan trace the global value chain of footballs from the Servette Football Club in Geneva via Herzogenaurach, Germany to Sialkot, Pakistan. Stopovers in Uganda and Uruguay show how international standards ease trade.

We talked to:
Philippe Senderos, Sporting Director of Servette FC, Geneva
Qasim Malik, Vice President of the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce, Pakistan
Nouman Butt, CEO of Capital Sports, Sialkot, Pakistan
Gerardo Cal, Guide at the Estadio Centenario Football Museum in Montevideo, Uruguay
Robbert de Kock, President and CEO of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry, Switzerland
George Opiyo, TBT National Enquiry Point, Uganda National Bureau of Standards
Oliver Hundacker, Senior Director of product operations at Adidas, Germany
Special thanks to Arshad Nawaz, Intern at the WTO Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation (ITTC)

One match, two balls. The 1930 World Cup in Uruguay featured two footballs with different designs in the final match: 
Photo of the ball team Argentina used in the first half of the final of the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay
Photo of the ball team Uruguay used in the second half of the final of the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay
About the famous Wembley goal — or “Hurst's overtime goal” — in the final of the 1966 World Cup between England and Germany:
England v Germany (1966): The Most Controversial World Cup Final — Oh My Goal — YouTube

Learn more about rules of origin:
Rules of origin explained

Learn more about Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT):
Technical barriers to trade explained
Video “Let's Talk Product Quality”

Learn more about tariffs:
Tariffs explained
Video “Let's Talk Tariffs”

1 November 2022

Trade Goals: Welcome to “the beautiful global value chain” (S5 - Ep1)

Episode Summary

There is probably no group of people who will talk with more passion and expertise about trade-related aspects of the game of football than soccer enthusiasts within the WTO.

In this first episode of “Trade Goals”, we introduce a group of WTO pundits with deep knowledge in realms such as trade in goods, trade in services,  trade-related aspects of intellectual property and communications who talk about what football means to them, both personally and professionally. Throughout the podcast season, they will try to make sense of the global value chain of the beautiful game.

Setting the scene are Michael Roberts, Roy Santana, Antonia Carzaniga, Wolf Meier-Ewert, Jana Borges, Markus Jelitto and Una Flanagan.

The figure about the size of the global football economy comes from FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who visited the WTO in September 2022.
Video: Football and trade for development. WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the Public Forum 2022

28 October 2022

Season 4

Let's Talk Trade takes a deep dive into the outcomes of the 12th Ministerial Conference and how they came about. Hear from those at the heart of the negotiations about how WTO members achieved results, ranging from the first ever WTO agreement with environmental protection at its core to decisions putting trade at the centre of the global response to today's crises. Daniel Pruzin, WTO spokesperson, hosts this season.

WTO reform + e-commerce (S4 - Ep5)

Episode Summary

International trade has progressed enormously since the founding of the WTO in 1995. The world trades a lot more — from just over 5 trillion dollars' worth of goods in 1995 to more than 22 trillion dollars in 2021. The world also trades in new ways — e-commerce accounts for more than 20 percent of total retail sales worldwide. Supply chains have also revolutionized trade, leading to the rise of products made “in the world”.

Despite this radical transformation, the WTO and the rules of trade remain largely unchanged. Ambassador Didier Chambovey of Switzerland, the General Council Chair, and the WTO's Joan Apecu talk about the efforts to keep the organization fit for purpose and ready to respond to the realities of 21st century commerce.
5 August 2022

Food security (S4 - Ep4)

Episode Summary

Even in  less stressful times, agriculture talks at the WTO tend to be difficult and highly emotional. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how important fundamental questions regarding food and health are to all of us.  Complicating the situation have been developments such as the war in Ukraine and droughts resulting from climate change, both which are contributing to immediate and longer-term concerns about food insecurity.

Listen to Ambassador Gloria Abraham Peralta of Costa Rica, Chair of the agriculture negotiations at the WTO and Ulla Kask, agriculture expert at the WTO Secretariat, decipher the issues addressed in the MC12 Ministerial Declaration on the Emergency Response to Food Insecurity and the Ministerial Decision not to impose export restrictions on foodstuffs purchased for humanitarian purposes by the World Food Program.
2 August 2022

Pandemic response (S4 - Ep3)

Episode Summary

It was the most hotly debated issue in the run-up to MC12 and at the very last minute, negotiations nearly broke down because of a footnote. The issue was the WTO's intellectual property response to the COVID-19 pandemic, commonly known as the TRIPS waiver. There is good news to report in this episode as WTO members agreed at MC12 to waive certain requirements under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) making it easier for developing countries to produce and export COVID-19 vaccines. Anabel González, WTO Deputy Director-General and Ambassador Lansana Gberie of Sierra Leone, the chair of the TRIPS Council, talk about how WTO members adopted a problem-solving approach on the waiver issue and agreed on a strategy to ensure trade can support the expanded and diversified production of essential goods needed in the fight against COVID-19 and future pandemics.
28 July 2022

Fisheries subsidies (S4 - Ep2)

Episode Summary

Our ocean, the planet's largest ecosystem, is endangered by overfishing. What's the WTO got to do with it, you may ask. By prohibiting harmful fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, WTO members agreed to play their role in the sustainable use of marine resources. Listen to Ambassador Santiago Wills of Colombia, the chair of the fisheries subsidies negotiations at the WTO and to Sainabou Taal, legal expert at the WTO Secretariat, explaining the importance of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies that was concluded at MC12.
25 July 2022

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: We can work it out (S4 - Ep1)

Episode Summary

When ministers and other delegates filed out of the World Trade Organization's Council Room on 17 June, night was giving way to dawn in Geneva. WTO members had just gavelled a historic package of results after five and a half days of intense and sometimes fraught negotiations. Let's Talk Trade looks at the outcomes produced during the 12th Ministerial Conference and how they came about. In this first episode, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala gives an overview of the so-called “Geneva package” and provides insights into her efforts to bring the 164 WTO members together to conclude the series of deals in a conversation with WTO spokesperson Daniel Pruzin.
19 July 2022

Season 3

This season, Let's Talk Trade unpacks the global supply chain crisis by tracing the journey of merchandise from factories, to ports, to buyers, as told by people on the frontlines.

The future: what's next for supply chains? (S3 - Ep6)

Episode Summary

In this season finale, we ask WTO Deputy Director-General Anabel González: are you worried? She helps us navigate through the ongoing “polycrisis” of inflation, the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical conflicts, and climate change, and marks out the pathway for more resilient supply chains. 
Access the WTO Global Supply Chains Forum playback here.
Access the WTO trade forecast as of 12 April 2022 here
9 June 2022

Stuck on the wrong end (S3 - Ep5)

Episode Summary

Larger economies and businesses may already be finding their way to absorb the shocks of the supply chain crisis, but that is less the case for smaller players. We throw the spotlight on developing countries and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises who find themselves bypassed by major trade arteries and at risk of being priced out of the markets. The episode features Sebastiano Iorio of Cargo Compass SA, Sushant Palakurthi Rao of Agility, Kanwar Usman of the International Cotton Advisory Committee, and soundbites from Mohammadi Group's Rubana Huq. WTO's head of the Development Policy Unit, Raúl Torres, provides the analysis.
2 June 2022

The pandemic consumer (S3 - Ep4)

Episode Summary

We hold up a mirror to another important link in the supply chain: us, the consumers. How have our shopping habits changed during the pandemic, and will we see lasting effects on trade, thanks in part to technology? The episode features Jessica Moulton, Socia Principal de McKinsey & Company, Sushant Palakurthi Rao of Agility, three stories of consumer woes, and soundbites from the WTO Global Supply Chain Forum. WTO Senior Analyst Emmanuelle Ganne provides key insights.
19 May 2022

Port side: transport and logistics (S3 - Ep3)

Episode Summary

Whether by air, road, or sea, in this episode we hear how all these trade channels had their share of disruptions as part of the global supply chain crisis. The episode features Lars Mikael Jensen of Maersk, Clemence Cheng of Hutchison Ports, Matthias Maedge of the World Road Transport Organisation, and Carlos Grau Tanner of the Global Express Association. WTO Counsellor Nora Neufeld provides the analysis.
13 May 2022

The supply side: manufacturers' perspectives (S3 - Ep2)

Episode Summary

The factory floor is our first stop on this journey tracing the flow of goods along global supply chains. How were manufacturers affected by recent disruptions and how are they adapting to a multi-crisis reality? We hear from Joachim Damasky of the German Association of the Automotive Industry, Arthur Tan of Integrated Microelectronics, Inc. and Trevor Gunn of Medtronic. WTO Senior Economist Coleman Nee provides the analysis.
5 May 2022

Decoding the crisis: an overview (S3 - Ep1)

Episode Summary

They say a good supply chain is one you never talk about because it just works. However, it's become a household phrase during the pandemic. WTO Chief Economist Robert Koopman provides a big picture view of how we got here and what the next wave of disruptions could look like. With soundbites from Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Bud Darr of MSC, and Matthias Maedge of the International Road Transport Union.
28 April 2022

Season 2

This Let's Talk Trade special season highlights the history of WTO Ministerial Conferences — through the memories and stories of WTO staff.

On the road to reform (S2 - Ep3)

Episode Summary

A recap of the Ministerial Conferences in Geneva (2011), Bali (2013), Nairobi (2015) and Buenos Aires (2017). Stories by Aegyoung Jung, Dan Pruzin, Nora Neufeld, Stefania Bernabè, Victor do Prado.
24 November 2021

Who needs sleep in a Ministerial? (S2 - Ep2)

Episode Summary

Stories from the Ministerial Conferences in Doha (2001), Cancún (2003), Hong Kong (2005) and Geneva (2009). Told by Bernie Kuiten, Dan Pruzin, Edwini Kessie, Emmanuelle Ganne, Keith Rockwell, Nora Neufeld, Peter Pedersen, and Willy Alfaro.
24 November 2021

From dawn to dusk, Singapore to Seattle (S2 - Ep1)

Episode Summary

We look back at the first three ministerial conferences held in Singapore (1996), Geneva (1998) and Seattle (1999). With stories from Anabel González, Bernie Kuiten, and Keith Rockwell.
24 November 2021

Season 1

The first season — “Resilience Stories” — picks up on the 2021 Public Forum theme of building resilience post-COVID19.

Resilience stories: Today's student, tomorrow's entrepreneur — Holby Training Solutions (S1 - Ep6)

Episode Summary

After facing many obstacles to set up her own business in Kenya, Farhia decided to create a training company to help young entrepreneurs navigate these obstacles. Faced with COVID-19 disruptions, she found creative ways to keep going — also reaching new clients abroad. The WTO’s Public Forum Coordinator Vonai Muyambo talks about youth and trade, and the lessons of this year’s event.
22 October 2021

Resilience stories: Plasticpreneur — Turning waste to wonder (S1 - Ep5)

Episode Summary

As demand for medical products rose with the COVID-19 pandemic, Sören from Austria adapted the plastic recycling machine invented by him and his friends to produce face shields — also for export. Simon Neumueller from the WTO discusses how trade in medical products has adapted with the pandemic. Hosted by WTO’s Daniel Ramos, who discusses sustainability in trade.
14 October 2021

Resilience stories: Farafena — Around the world and back (S1 - Ep4)

Episode Summary

Oumar had a successful exporting business from Mali to North America. Disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic made him rethink his business model, and focus on intra-African trade. Annette Ssemuwemba from the Enhanced Integrated Framework discusses how the poorest countries have been affected by COVID-19.
7 October 2021

Resilience stories: Casa Feito Brasil — Making a home abroad (S1 - Ep3)

Episode Summary

As the Brazilian cosmetics company where Rafaela worked took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to strengthen their online business, they also took the bold step to enter new markets overseas. She tells us about the process to register these products abroad. WTO’s Devin McDaniels discusses the importance of trade in safe products.
30 September 2021

Resilience stories: A silver lining for Dot and Line (S1 - Ep2)

Episode Summary

Maheen’s in-person tutoring business in Pakistan was put in jeopardy by COVID-19 lockdowns. By shifting her business online, she was able to reach new customers abroad. WTO’s Antonia Carzaniga talks about trade in services during the pandemic.
23 September 2021

Resilience stories: Pandemic Hell, Cielo Hammocks (S1 - Ep1)

Episode Summary

As the COVID-19 pandemic forced Josefina from Mexico to close her physical shop, e-commerce gave her hammock business a new lifeline. WTO’s Kathryn Lundquist talks about the effect of the pandemic for smaller business.
23 September 2021

Coming soon: Let's talk trade

Coming soon: Let's Talk Trade, a podcast by the World Trade Organization.
17 September 2021



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