Equilibrating the Global Trading System and the Doha Round
Although the United States took a great deal of initiative in championing the cause of free multilateral trade for decades, the global system was not created for or by the industrial economies. However, at the time of the inception of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) they were the principal trading economies and, therefore, overwhelmingly dominated it until the commencement of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations (MTNs) in 1996. Historically, the participation of the developing economies in the global trading system was limited, and therefore the evolution of many of the GATT rules reflects the perceived interests of the industrial economies. The international treaty creating the GATT in 1947 was signed by 23 nations – 12 industrial and 11 developing economies.1 These 23 contracting parties (CPs) accounted for 60 per cent of the world trade at that point in time. The GATT contained tariff concessions agreed to during the first Geneva Tariff Conference (1947) and a set of rules designed to prevent these concessions from being frustrated by restrictive trade measures.
KeywordsWelfare Gain Industrial Economy Tariff Rate Uruguay Round Tariff Reduction
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