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The WTO and the poorest countries: the stark reality


Small and poor countries pose a challenge for the World Trade Organization (WTO). These countries have acquired a significant say in WTO decision-making. However, they have limited ability to engage in the reciprocity game that is at the heart of the WTO, and have limited interests in the broader liberalization agenda because of their preferential access to industrial country markets. Accommodating the interests of the small and poor countries is desirable in itself, but would also facilitate expeditious progress in the Doha Round. The stark reality facing the system is that the desirable ways of addressing their concerns- providing them additional financial assistance and nonpreferential market access-is proving infeasible. As a result, the system is gravitating toward the less desirable option of relieving these countries of obligations, including those that might be welfare-enhancing for them.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal World Trade Review.

Volume (Year): 3 (2004)
Issue (Month): 03 (November)
Pages: 385-407

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Handle: RePEc:cup:wotrrv:v:3:y:2004:i:03:p:385-407_00
Contact details of provider: Postal: Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK
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  1. Subramanian, Arvind & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2007. "The WTO promotes trade, strongly but unevenly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 151-175, May.
  2. Stephen Tokarick, 2003. "Measuring the Impact of Distortions in Agricultural Trade in Partial and General Equilibrium," IMF Working Papers 03/110, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Panle Gia & Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Shubham Chaudhuri, 2006. "Estimating the Effects of Global Patent Protection in Pharmaceuticals: A Case Study of Quinolones in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1477-1514, December.
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  5. J. Michael Finger & Philip Schuler, 2000. "Implementation of Urugauy Round Commitments: The Development Challenge," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(04), pages 511-525, 04.
  6. William Easterly, 2003. "Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 23-48, Summer.
  7. Bernard Hoekman & Francis Ng & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2002. "Eliminating Excessive Tariffs on Exports of Least Developed Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(1), pages 1-21, June.
  8. Arvind Subramanian & Aaditya Mattoo & Devesh Roy, 2002. "The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act and its Rules of Origin: Generosity Undermined?," IMF Working Papers 02/158, International Monetary Fund.
  9. William R. Cline, 2004. "Trade Policy and Global Poverty," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 379.
  10. repec:rus:hseeco:123040 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. repec:rus:hseeco:123147 is not listed on IDEAS
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