IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/ifwkdp/352.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The WTO and the millennium round: between standstill and leapfrog

Author

Listed:
  • Langhammer, Rolf J.

Abstract

The Third WTO Ministerial Conference in Seattle in November 1999 is expected to pave the way to the ninth multilateral round of trade negotiations, labelled Millennium Round (MR). Like the preceding Uruguay Round (UR), it will have the twin targets of preventing domestic measures from discriminating against foreign supply and of dismantling border measures such as tariffs and non-tariff barriers. The core challenge of the MR will be to defend the WTO framework against efforts to sacrifice its genuine target of guaranteeing and enforcing access to markets by compromising this target with other targets such as protecting the environment, workers' rights, foreign investors' rights and competition. The GATT experience with a contradictory and inefficient mixture of aid targets (special treatment for developing countries and least-developed countries) and trade principles (non-discrimination between all WTO member states) underlines the importance of clearly separating targets, instruments and responsibilities of actors through different institutional set-ups instead of forcing them into a single framework. This holds especially for the protection of the environment and of workers' rights, where existing frameworks should be used and/or new frameworks be founded. For competition and investment, existing elements of the WTO can be used to keep markets open and to level the playing field between foreign and domestic investors. Liberalising trade in services and enforcing free access to service markets through the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) will be the most important concrete liberalisation objective in the MR. As the GATS principle is bottom-up (service-industry-specific liberalisation with many loopholes) while the GATT principle for goods is topdown (across-the-board cut of border measures), the best liberalisation results would be achieved if the top-down principle could be applied to services as much as possible. Linking services to goods as joint products bound to GATT rules and/or defining services as goods wherever possible (for instance, in e-commerce) could be instrumental to anchor the top-down principle in services. In traditionally highly protected sectors with special entitlements like agriculture and textiles (including clothing), the MR must counter efforts of big players like the EU and partly the US to play for time by postponing UR commitments to the latest possible date. In doing so, they will deliberately create an adjustment jam, which would trigger requests for further safeguards. Should the WTO fail to discipline the players in these sectors, frustration in developing countries can weld the vast majority of WTO members into a stumbling block against the MR. Further needs to reform the current WTO framework can be identified in disciplining mushrooming regional integration schemes, which undermine the most-favoured nation treatment principle, in dismantling still existing tariff escalation, which discriminates against manufactured goods exporters, in fundamentally redressing the abuse of contingent protection measures such as anti-dumping and safeguards and, finally, in solving the still pending issue of China's accession to the WTO. The MR without China refutes the WTO's claim to be a universal institution. In a mercantilist world, negotiation strategies matter. Notwithstanding the lack of a fast-track mandate for the US administration, it seems that the US together with Asian countries prefer sector-specific negotiations with a focus on agriculture, services, and government procurement. In contrast, the EU prefers negotiations on all issues in a socalled comprehensive round. Developing countries still hesitate to participate at all but their hesitancy can prove to be a promising strategy to push the EU and the US toward accelerating the implementation of UR commitments. All participants will experience that there are first-mover advantages and that leapfrogging technological progress in the cross-border movement of persons, goods and services will impose high costs on those who get stuck in old-style nitty-gritty trade diplomacy.

Suggested Citation

  • Langhammer, Rolf J., 1999. "The WTO and the millennium round: between standstill and leapfrog," Kiel Discussion Papers 352, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkdp:352
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/2299/1/301564094.PDF
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alan Swinbank, 1999. "EU Agricultural, Agenda 2000 and the WTO Commitments," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 41-54, January.
    2. Wonnacott, Ronald J, 1996. "Free-Trade Agreements: For Better or Worse?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 62-66, May.
    3. C. Fred Bergsten, 1999. "The Global Trading System and the Developing Countries in 2000," Working Paper Series WP99-6, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    4. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Stein, Ernesto & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1996. "Regional Trading Arrangements: Natural or Supernatural," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 52-56, May.
    5. Daniel Esty, 1994. "Greening the GATT: Trade, Environment, and the Future," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 40, October.
    6. Beghin, John C. & Roland-Holst, David & Van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique, 1994. "Trade and Environment Nexus. Global Dimensions, The," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1589, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    7. Piritta Sorsa, 1996. "Sub-Saharan African Own Commitments in the Uruguay Round - Myth or Reality?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 287-305, May.
    8. Hoekman, Bernard & Saggi, Kamal, 1999. "Multilateral disciplines for investment-related policies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2138, The World Bank.
    9. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W, 1998. "Will Preferential Agreements Undermine the Multilateral Trading System?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1162-1182, July.
    10. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Stein, Ernesto & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1996. "Regional Trading Arrangements," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt5hf1z4rv, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    11. Safadi, Raed & Laird, Sam, 1996. "The Uruguay Round agreements: Impact on developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 1223-1242, July.
    12. P. J. Lloyd, 1993. "A Tariff Substitute for Rules of Origin in Free Trade Areas," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(6), pages 699-712, November.
    13. Krueger, Anne O., 1997. "Free trade agreements versus customs unions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 169-187, October.
    14. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1998. "The New Regionalism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1149-1161, July.
    15. Nigel Nagarajan, 1998. "Regionalism and the WTO: New Rules for the Game?," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 128, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    16. Schrader, Jörg-Volker, 1998. "Agrarpolitische Irrwege zur Bewahrung von Bodenrenten? Von Butterbergen zu Ökotälern," Kiel Discussion Papers 325, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    17. Hoekman, Bernard, 1996. "Trade and Competition Policy in the WTO system," CEPR Discussion Papers 1501, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Kym Anderson & Bernard Hoekman & Anna Strutt, 2001. "Agriculture and the WTO: Next Steps," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 192-214, May.
    19. Hiemenz, Ulrich & Weiss, Frank Dietmar, 1984. "Das internationale Subventionskarussell: Dabeisein oder Abspringen?," Kiel Discussion Papers 98, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    20. André Sapir & Rolf Langhammer, 1987. "Economic impact of generalized tariff preferences," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8090, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    21. Sampson, Gary P, 1996. "Compatibility of Regional and Multilateral Trading Agreements: Reforming the WTO Process," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 88-92, May.
    22. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Greenaway, David & Panagariya, Arvind, 1998. "Trading Preferentially: Theory and Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1128-1148, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Nunnenkamp, Peter & Pant, Manoj, 2003. "Why the economic case for a multilateral agreement on investment is weak," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 4323, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    2. Georg Koopmann & Felix Münnich, 1999. "National and international developments in technology," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 34(6), pages 267-278, November.
    3. Krancke, Jan, 1999. "Liberalisierung des internationalen Dienstleistungshandels: Analyse des GATS und Perspektiven für die zukünftige Handelsliberalisierung," Kiel Working Papers 954, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    4. Klodt, Henning, 2000. "Conflicts and conflict resolution in international antitrust," Kiel Working Papers 979, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    5. Nunnenkamp, Peter, 2004. "[Book Review of] How to improve the development impact of foreign direct investment: A review," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 3398, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    6. Nunnenkamp, Peter & Pant, Manoj, 2003. "Why the case for a multilateral agreement on investment is weak," Kiel Discussion Papers 400, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    7. Nunnenkamp, Peter, 2003. "Systemic factors and economic development in Islamic countries," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 4319, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    8. Bernard Hoekman, 2000. "The next round of services negotiations: identifying priorities and options," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 82(Jul), pages 31-52.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Langhammer, Rolf J. & Wößmann, Ludger, . "Erscheinungsformen regionaler Integrationsabkommen im weltwirtschaftlichen Ordnungsrahmen: Defizite und Dynamik," Chapters in Economics,, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    2. Anne O. Krueger, 1999. "Are Preferential Trading Arrangements Trade-Liberalizing or Protectionist?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 105-124, Fall.
    3. Wilhelm Kohler, 2000. "Die Osterweiterung der EU aus der Sicht bestehender Mitgliedsländer: Was lehrt uns die Theorie der ökonomischen Integration?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(2), pages 115-141, May.
    4. Egger, Hartmut & Egger, Peter & Greenaway, David, 2008. "The trade structure effects of endogenous regional trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 278-298, March.
    5. Ben Zissimos, 2011. "Why are Trade Agreements Regional?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 32-45, February.
    6. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 2000. "GATT-think," Working papers 19, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    7. Burfisher, Mary E. & Robinson, Sherman & Thierfelder, Karen, 2004. "Regionalism," MTID discussion papers 65, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Wilfred J. Ethier, 2011. "Contemporary Regionalism," Chapters, in: Miroslav N. Jovanović (ed.), International Handbook on the Economics of Integration, Volume I, chapter 4, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Francesco Di Comite & Antonella Nocco & Gianluca Orefice, 2014. "Tariff reductions, trade patterns and the wage gap in a monopolistic competition model with vertical linkages," Working Papers 2014-02, CEPII research center.
    10. Wilhelm Kohler, 2000. "Die Osterweiterung der EU aus der Sicht bestehender Mitgliedsländer: Was lehrt uns die Theorie der ökonomischen Integration?," Economics working papers 2000-01, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    11. Francesco Di Comite & Antonella Nocco & Gianluca Orefi ce, 2015. "Tariff reductions, trade patterns and the wage gap," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2015004, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    12. Tarlok Singh, 2010. "Does International Trade Cause Economic Growth? A Survey," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(11), pages 1517-1564, November.
    13. Wilhelm Kohler, 2002. "Issues of US-EU Trade Policy," Economics working papers 2002_03, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    14. repec:pit:wpaper:285 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Lucian Cernat & Sam Laird & Alessandro Turrini, 2003. "How Important are Market Access Issues for Developing Countries in the Doha Agenda?," International Trade 0302004, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Reuven Glick & Alan M. Taylor, 2010. "Collateral Damage: Trade Disruption and the Economic Impact of War," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 102-127, February.
    17. Guglielmo Caporale & Christophe Rault & Robert Sova & Anamaria Sova, 2009. "On the bilateral trade effects of free trade agreements between the EU-15 and the CEEC-4 countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(3), pages 573-573, October.
    18. Michele FRATIANNI & Chang HOON HO, 2007. "On the Relationship Between RTA Expansion and Openness," Working Papers 288, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    19. Laura Márquez-Ramos & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Celestino Suárez-Burguet, 2011. "Determinants of Deep Integration: Examining Socio-political Factors," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 479-500, July.
    20. Mr. Rodolphe Blavy, 2001. "Trade in the Mashreq: An Empirical Examination," IMF Working Papers 2001/163, International Monetary Fund.
    21. Maria V. Sokolova, 2016. "Exchange Rates, International Trade and Growth: Re-Evaluation of Undervaluation," IHEID Working Papers 05-2016, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:zbw:ifwkdp:352. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/iwkiede.html .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/iwkiede.html .

    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.