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Scenarios for the World Trading System and Their Implications for Developing Countries

Listed author(s):
  • Robert Z. Lawrence

Four scenarios for the global trading system in the 1990s are outlined and their implications for developing countries considered: (i) further development of a GATT-based trading regime; (ii) development of a world of trading blocs -- where the critical issue is not whether they will emerge (they will) but whether they become "building blocks" for a more integrated global system or "stumbling blocks" that cause the system to fragment; (iii) development of a system of managed trade, where political forces would dominate outcomes and which could evolve out of the friction between Japan and the United States or Europe; and (iv) movement beyond GATT and dealing with international problems "at the borders" toward a system of deeper global harmonisation in such areas as competition policy, standards, regulatory practices and technology policies. The answer to the question of which of these scenarios will predominate is of growing importance for developing countries, both because of ... Le système des échanges mondiaux au cours de la décennie 90 et ses implications pour les pays en développement est décrit ici sous la forme de quatre scénarios, respectivement : (i) une expansion du système basé sur les conventions du GATT ; (ii) la naissance de blocs d'échanges mondiaux et, selon cette hypothèse, la question n'est pas de savoir s'ils vont se créer (ce qui est certain) mais s'ils vont devenir des "blocs-constructeurs" favorisant un système mondial plus intégré ou des "blocs-obstacles" provoquant une désintégration du système ; (iii) le développement d'un système d'échanges contrôlés où le rôle des puissances politiques prendrait le pas sur les résultats et qui pourrait fonctionner hors des frictions existant entre le Japon et les États-Unis ou l'Europe ; et, (iv) un courant (allant au delà des compétences) du GATT accordant moins de poids aux problèmes internationaux et tendant vers un système d'harmonisation globale plus approfondi dans des secteurs tels que ceux ...

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Development Centre Working Papers with number 47.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 1991
Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:47-en
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