IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Implementation of Uruguay Round commitments : the development challenge


  • Finger, Michael J.*Schuler, Philip
  • Finger, Michael J.*Schuler, Philip


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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Abbott, Frederick M, 1998. "The Enduring Enigma of Trips: A Challenge for the World Economic System," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(4), pages 497-521, December.
    2. Otten, Adrian, 1998. "Implementation of the Trips Agreement and Prospects for Its Further Development," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(4), pages 523-536, December.
    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. N/A, 1991. "Appraisal," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 138(1), pages 3-5, 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. Primo Braga, Carlos A & Fink, Carsten, 1998. "Reforming Intellectual Property Rights Regimes: Challenges for Developing Countries," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(4), pages 537-554, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2215. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.