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Improving Trade Policy Reviews in the World Trade Organization


  • Donald B. Keesing


The Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) is a little-known but important activity of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Its purpose is to strengthen observance of WTO commitments and promote trade liberalization by providing all member countries with current and objective information about the trade policies and practices of each member individually and by establishing a forum within which members can question one another's policies and practices in a nonconfrontational manner.Since the TPRM was established in 1989 as one of the first fruits of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations, some 80 trade policy reviews (TPRs) have been completed, covering nearly 60 countries. A review of the TPRM itself is therefore timely. In light of eight years of experience with the process, it is fair to ask whether the TPRM is meeting the goals set for it at its inception. Are the reviews sufficiently probing and analytical to provide information of real value? Do they cover all relevant aspects of members' trade? Are they unbiased and objective? Does the WTO devote sufficient resources to the task of conducting the reviews--and to disseminating the information that they generate? Is the potential value of this information to those outside the trade negotiations process being realized? This monograph seeks to answer these questions and others.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald B. Keesing, 1998. "Improving Trade Policy Reviews in the World Trade Organization," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa52.
  • Handle: RePEc:iie:ppress:pa52
    Note: Policy Analyses in International Economics 52

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    Cited by:

    1. Susan Ariel Aaronson & M. Rodwan Abouharb, 2011. "Does the WTO Help Member States Clean Up?," Working Papers 2011-13, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    2. Kym Anderson, 2016. "Contributions Of The Gatt/Wto To Global Economic Welfare: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 56-92, February.
    3. Kishor Sharma, 2015. "Trade Policymaking in a Land-locked Developing Country: The WTO Review of Nepal," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(9), pages 1335-1349, September.
    4. MichaƂ Kruszka, 2004. "Institutional Aspects of the World Trade Organization's Functioning," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 12.

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