Doing the Right Thing: The WTO and the Developing World
In: The State of Economics in Canada: Festschrift in Honour of David Slater
The North-South gridlock is explored in more depth in the paper by Kathleen Macmillan. She notes that statements from Western political leaders, under pressure from increasingly vocal protestors, emphasizing the potential of trade liberalization to alleviate poverty in the developing world, have been greeted with much scepticism by the leaders of developing countries. In spite of its pious preaching in favour of trade liberalization, the North has left in place high protectionist barriers in the textiles, clothing and agricultural sectors that discriminate against imports from the South. And at the same time, the South is still being held to WTO commitments to introduce Western-style regimes such as intellectual property measures. Nevertheless, she notes that the over 100 developing country members of the WTO and the dozens of other developing countries seeking to accede to the WTO shows that poorer countries are not yet ready to give up on the WTO. In her paper, Macmillan takes a hard look at how effectively the multilateral trading system has really addressed developing country concerns. She also presents some concrete proposals for achieving a fairer balance in the world trading system. These include: the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers to exports from the developing world; the reform of domestic agricultural programs; the provision of generous financial assistance and assistance in kind to developing nations to help them with implementation and trade adjustment; a substantial weakening of anti-dumping regimes; and the refusal to include environmental and labour standards in WTO Agreements.
|This chapter was published in: Patrick Grady & Andrew Sharpe (ed.) The State of Economics in Canada: Festschrift in Honour of David Slater, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, pages 267-289, 2001.|
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