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What the Developing Countries Want from the WTO

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  • McCalla, Alex F.

Abstract

There is a very strong consensus among economists that developing countries have the most to gain from movements towards freer trade under the WTO. But the Seattle WTO meeting was suspended in part because of vocal NGOs who charged that free trade and globalization were not in poor countriesÂ’ interests. This paper makes three points. First, developing countries do have much to gain from general trade liberalization. Trade expansion is positively linked to growth. Second, agricultural trade liberalization offers even greater gains than liberalization in other sectors because of the heavy dominance of agriculture in poor countriesÂ’ economies. Third, not all developing countries are poor, food-deficit, importing countries. They are a heterogeneous group and many are agricultural exporters. An open-economy development strategy has historically paid off for developing countries and is still the best bet for the future. Therefore, a WTO agreement which provides a fair, open, transparent, and rules-based international trading environment is absolutely critical to reducing poverty in these countries. They need access to markets and protection from predatory practices by large rich countries. The WTO is the best game in town.

Suggested Citation

  • McCalla, Alex F., 2001. "What the Developing Countries Want from the WTO," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 2(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ecjilt:23863
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/23863
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. T.N. Srinivasan, 1999. "Developing Countries in the World Trading System: From GATT, 1947, to the Third Ministerial Meeting of WTO, 1999," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(8), pages 1047-1064, November.
    2. Anderson, Kym & Hoekman, Bernard & Strutt, Anna, 2001. "Agriculture and the WTO: Next Steps," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 192-214, May.
    3. Meilke, Karl D., 2000. "What Went Wrong In Seattle?," CATRN Papers 12887, Canadian Agri-Food Trade Research Network.
    4. Huff, Karen, 2000. "Developing Country Concerns And Multilateral Trade Negotiations," CATRN Papers 12892, Canadian Agri-Food Trade Research Network.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ng, Francis & Aksoy, M. Ataman, 2008. "Who are the net food importing countries ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4457, The World Bank.
    2. Francis Ng & M. Ataman Aksoy, 2008. "Food price increases and net food importing countries: lessons from the recent past," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 443-452, November.
    3. H. Bruce Huff, 2010. "Making Doha More Developmentally Friendly for Agriculture," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 58(1), pages 23-35, March.

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