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The Washington Consensus ReconsideredTowards a New Global Governance$
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Narcís Serra and Joseph E. Stiglitz

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199534081

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199534081.001.0001

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The World Trading System and Development Concerns

The World Trading System and Development Concerns

Chapter:
(p.215) 11 The World Trading System and Development Concerns
Source:
The Washington Consensus Reconsidered
Author(s):

Martin Khor

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199534081.003.0011

This chapter deals with trade policy and the world trading system from a development perspective, and concludes with proposals for making the global trading system more development-oriented, beginning with a re-orientation of the WTO. As trade is a means to development, not an end in itself, the Organization's policies should be judged not on whether they are ‘trade-distorting’ but whether they are ‘development-distorting’. Second, the WTO must make structural changes to compensate for the handicaps of developing countries in the WTO system; reciprocity among members with different capacities leads to unequal outcomes. Thirdly, developing countries need policy space, and must be allowed to consider national treatment, subsidies, and tariffs when these are development-inducing. Finally, the WTO should stick to trade issues — not intellectual property and other non-trade issues. Other agencies exist to handle other issues. With these changes, the WTO could better play its role in the design and maintenance of fair rules for trade, and thus contribute towards a balanced, predictable international trading system which is designed to produce and promote development.

Keywords:   international trade, trade policy, World Trade Organization, trade liberalization, developing countries, policy space

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