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Implementation of Ururguay Round commitments : the development challenge

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  • Finger, Michael J.
  • Schuler, Philip

Abstract

At the Uruguay Round, developing countries took on unprecedented obligations not only to reduce trade barriers, but to implement significant reforms both of trade procedures, e.g., import licensing procedures, customs valuation and of many areas of regulation that establish the basic business environment in the domestic economy, e.g., technical, sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS), intellectual property law. Implementing such reforms are investment decisions in that implementation will require purchase of equipment, training of people, establishment of systems of checks and balances, etc. This will cost money and the amounts of money involved are substantial. Based on World Bank project experience in the areas covered by the agreements, an entire year's development budget is at stake in many of the least developed countries. Least developed country institutions in these areas are weak, and would benefit from strengthening and reform. However, the authors'analysis indicates that the World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations reflect little awareness of development problems and little appreciation of the capacities of the least developed countries to carry out the functions that SPS, customs valuation, intellectual property, etc. regulations address. The content of these obligations can be characterized as the advanced countries saying to the others,"Do it my way!"The authors touch at the beginning on another important point. Because of their limited capacity to participate in the Uruguay Round negotiations, the WTO process has generated no sense of"ownership"of the reforms to which WTO membership obligates them. From their perspective, the implementation exercise has been imposed in an imperial way, with little concern for what it will cost, how it will be done, or if it will support their development efforts.

Suggested Citation

  • Finger, Michael J. & Schuler, Philip, 1999. "Implementation of Ururguay Round commitments : the development challenge," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2215, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2215
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Elena Ianchovichina & Terrie Walmsley, 2005. "Impact of China's WTO Accession on East Asia," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(2), pages 261-277, April.
    2. Hoekman, Bernard & Michalopoulos, Constantine & Winters, L. alan, 2003. "More favorable and differential treatment of developing countries : toward a new approach in the World Trade Organization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3107, The World Bank.
    3. Arvind Panagariya, 2002. "Developing Countries at Doha: A Political Economy Analysis," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(9), pages 1205-1233, September.
    4. Hoekman, Bernard, 2002. "Strengthening the global trade architecture for development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2757, The World Bank.
    5. Henson, Spencer & Loader, Rupert, 2001. "Barriers to Agricultural Exports from Developing Countries: The Role of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Requirements," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 85-102, January.
    6. Will Martin & Kym Anderson, 2006. "Agricultural Trade Reform and the Doha Development Agenda," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6889.
    7. Schiff, Maurice, 2002. "Regional integration and development in small states," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2797, The World Bank.
    8. Julio J. Nogues, 2005. "Issues on Agricultural Negotiations in the FTAA and Linkages With the Doha Round," International Trade 0502006, EconWPA.
    9. Bernard Hoekman & David Vines, 2007. "Multilateral trade cooperation: what next?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 311-334, Autumn.
    10. Julio J. Nogues, 2005. "Unequal Exchange: Developing Countries in the International Trade Negotiations," International Trade 0502011, EconWPA.
    11. Martin, Will, 2001. "Trade policy reform in the East Asian transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2535, The World Bank.
    12. Dani Rodrik, 2000. "Trade Policy Reform as Institutional Reform," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 2189, Inter-American Development Bank.
    13. Maskus, Keith E. & Wilson, John S. & Tsunehiro Otsuki, 2000. "Quantifying the impact of technical barriers to trade : a framework for analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2512, The World Bank.
    14. Othmani, Abdelhafidh & Slimani, Slah & Bakari, Sayef, 2015. "Les Effets de la Corruption sur le Commerce Extérieur de la Tunisie : Une Approche du Modèle de Gravité Statique durant la Période 1999-2012," MPRA Paper 80894, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Othmani, Abdelhafidh & Slimani, Slah & Bakari, Sayef, 2015. "Les Effets de la Concurrence sur le Commerce Extérieur de la Tunisie : Une Approche du Modèle de Gravité Statique durant la Période 1999-2012
      [The Effects of Competition on Foreign Trade in Tunisia
      ," MPRA Paper 80885, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Finger, J. Michael & Wilson, John S., 2006. "Implementing a WTO agreement on trade facilitation : what makes sense ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3971, The World Bank.

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