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Doing the Right Thing: The WTO and the Developing World

In: The State of Economics in Canada: Festschrift in Honour of David Slater


  • Kathleen Macmillan


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Kathleen Macmillan, 2001. "Doing the Right Thing: The WTO and the Developing World," The State of Economics in Canada: Festschrift in Honour of David Slater,in: Patrick Grady & Andrew Sharpe (ed.), The State of Economics in Canada: Festschrift in Honour of David Slater, pages 267-289 Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:secfds:12

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kenneth A. Reinert, 2000. "Give Us Virtue, But Not Yet: Safegaurd Actions Under the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 25-55, January.
    2. Anderson, Kym, 2000. "Agriculture, Developing Countries, And The WTO Millennium Round," CEPR Discussion Papers 2437, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Finger, J. Michael & Schuknecht, Ludger, 1999. "Market access advances and retreats : the Uruguay Round and beyond," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2232, The World Bank.
    4. John Whalley, 1999. "Special and Differential Treatment in the Millennium Round," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(8), pages 1065-1093, November.
    5. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Kimberly Ann Elliott, 1994. "Measuring the Costs of Protection in the United States," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 77.
    6. Finger, J Michael, 1981. "Policy Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1270-1271, December.
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    More about this item


    Trade; Growth; Development; Trade-related Assistance; Trade Related Assistance; Trade Adjustment; Textiles; Agriculture;

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy


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