Developing Countries in the WTO by Constantine Michalopoulos

By Constantine Michalopoulos

Globalization signifies that this day, greater than ever sooner than, progress in constructing nations and the aid of poverty rely on global exchange and a good functioning buying and selling approach. This quantity studies constructing international locations' alternate guidelines and associations, and the demanding situations they face on the planet exchange Organization—where the principles that govern the foreign buying and selling approach are set.

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This was achieved through the extension of trade rules to cover services, trade-related intellectual property rights and investment measures, as well as through the establishment of a strengthened dispute settlement mechanism. One of the issues that emerged in the late 1990s, however, was precisely whether this potential was being realized. Two aspects of the Uruguay Round agreements were of great potential importance to developing countries. First, several of the agreements offered signi®cantly improved market access in areas of interest to developing countries.

While the Common Fund provided technical assistance to increase Trade and Development in GATT and the WTO 33 the productivity and supply response of countries producing primary products, no funds from its ®rst account were ever used to support bufferstock management of commodity agreements. As a consequence of the waning interest in the GSP and commodity stabilization, and of the emerging consensus that the liberalization of policies was more conducive to development, as well as the growing importance of reciprocal liberalization as a means of attaining greater market access, GATT's importance as an institution within which developing countries could pursue their trade objectives started to rise.

The introduction of the Enabling Clause thus established a stronger legal basis for the special and differential treatment of developing countries within the rules of the multilateral trading system. While the clause formally embodied the concept of special and differential treatment, it did so in discretionary and permissive rather than legally binding terms. In terms of concrete measures in favour of developing countries, the Enabling Clause transformed the 10-year waivers for the GSP and for trade preferences among developing countries into permanent waivers.

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