Roderick Abbott joined GPlus, the EU communications firm, as an Associate on 4th July 2007. A former Deputy Director-General at the WTO, Mr. Abbott has had an illustrious career as a high-ranking official, namely also as Deputy Director-General with the European Commission’s DG Trade. During his 30-year stint with the European Commission, Mr. Abbott played an active part in both the Tokyo and Uruguay Rounds of trade negotiations and served as the EU Ambassador in Geneva. When he left the Commission in 2002, he was appointed Deputy Director General of the WTO in Geneva (2002-2005).
His profile on GPlus website says:
- During his time with the Commission he was directly involved in two GATT rounds of multilateral negotiations – the Tokyo Round from 1973-79 and the Uruguay Round from 1987-1993, and he was twice posted to the Commission Delegation in Geneva (1975-79 as deputy chief negotiator for Tokyo, and again in 1996-2000 as Ambassador and Head of Delegation). In the interval he was lead negotiator for the GATT tariff negotiations after the enlargements with Greece, Spain and Portugal, and later in the same role with Austria, Finland and Sweden.
- During his second time in Geneva he was directly involved in some of the WTO’s most contentious disputes in the early days of the Dispute Settlement Understanding. Complaints such as the one attacking the EU import regime for bananas (1996) or the ban on hormone-treated beef (also 1996) presented early challenges to the new system at all stages through the panel and appellate process; in later days he contributed to transatlantic harmony during the EU attacks on the US law on Foreign Sales Corporations (a tax break found to be an illegal export subsidy), in 2000 on the so-called ‘Byrd amendment’ (an illegal remedy for anti-dumping cases) and in 2002 on steel safeguard measures (found to be unjustified in terms of the WTO agreement).
- In his earlier career he served for over 10 years with the British Government – at the Board of Trade (later DTI) and in Geneva. He has a degree in classical studies from Merton College, Oxford and speaks French with some Italian and rather less German. Outside GPlus he is associated with the LSE in London, and with the think tank ECIPE in Brussels.
- European Commission, (1973-2002)
- WTO, Deputy Director-General (2002-2005)
- GPlus, Associate (2007-2009)
- APCO Worldwide, Senior Counsellor, (2009- )
- European Agenda, "Abbott joins GPlus," 16 July 2007, Agenda Weekly, accessed 06 March 2010.
- European Agenda, "Roderick Abbott joins APCO Worldwide," 04 November 2009, Agenda Weekly, accessed 06 March 2010.
- GPlus Europe, Roderick Abbott, Web Archive 24 May 2008, accessed 06 March 2010.