Since 2005 the WTI has conducted research within the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Trade Regulation funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The NCCR aims to clarify how the world trading system functions and to explore the drivers of fragmentation and coherence. It aims to offer policy recommendations based on the disciplines of law, economics and political science through its six thematic research areas: trade governance; new preferentialism in trade; innovation and creativity in international trade; trade, development and migration; trade and climate change; and impact assessment in international trade regulation.

The WTI has the lead in various collaborative projects, including the r4d Employment Project, the European Commission’s PRONTO project on regulatory barriers to trade, and Common Concern, which explores the legal potential of the emerging doctrine of Common Concern of Humankind.