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Realizing UtopiaThe Future of International Law$
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The Late Antonio Cassese

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199691661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691661.001.0001

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The WTO: Already the Promised Land?

The WTO: Already the Promised Land?

(p.418) 32 The WTO: Already the Promised Land?
Realizing Utopia

J.H.H. Weiler

Oxford University Press

There are deep inequities in the current system — the most notable and notorious being the one rooted in an inequitable distribution of tariff reductions and other barriers (including subsidies) which continue to exclude agriculture to the detriment of many poorer economies (and consumers in the richer countries). There was a distinct political deception in the Uruguay process whereby important systemic reform was pushed and accepted as the multilateral ‘Single Undertaking’, whereas the actual negotiations of terms of trade was left to the usual multi-lateralized bilateralism where each state is on its own and which favours the rich consuming economies with plenty of trade leverage, at the expense of the poorer ones with less leverage or none at all. Two major issues must be addressed: whether the World Trade Organization has a ‘constitutional’ future; and whether a global approach will prevail over a regional one.

Keywords:   World Trade Organization, tariff reductions, Uruguay process, international trade, trade barriers

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