The Unbalanced Uruguay Round Outcome: The New Areas in Future WTO Negotiations
The Uruguay Round involved a grand North-South bargain: The North reduced import barriers, particularly in textiles and agriculture. The South adopted new domestic regulations in such areas as services and intellectual property—changes that would lead to increased purchases from the North. In mercantilist economics, apples for apples—imports for imports. In real economics, apples for oranges. Finger and Nogués argue that while the North’s reduction of import barriers benefits both the North and the South, the new domestic regulations adopted by countries of the South could prove costly to those countries. To begin with, the regulations will be expensive to implement. And while the cost side of their impact is secured by a legal obligation (in the case of intellectual property rights, for example, the cost is higher prices for patented goods), the benefits side is not so secured.
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