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The GATT/WTO Agreements effectively protect the interests of the developing country members of the WTO - Essay Example

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It is the aim of this study to demonstrate how the GATT/WTO agreements, though aimed at improving the playing field and protecting the interest of developing countries in international trade, are not effective in attaining these objectives. …
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The GATT/WTO Agreements effectively protect the interests of the developing country members of the WTO
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The GATT/WTO Agreements effectively protect the interests of the developing country members of the WTO

This research will begin with the changes introduced by the WTO. The GATT was aimed mainly to regulate the imports and exports among member countries; however, the bilateral and multilateral agreements arrived at under the WTO provisions actually impact upon the countries’ entire economy. Whereas before, the WTO agreement regulated largely only the exchange of goods, nowadays the newer WTO provisions arrived at under the Uruguay rounds have trespassed into traditionally untouched areas, which include intellectual property rights and services outsourcing. This is according to Bhagirath Lal Das, former Chairman of the GATT Council and of the GATT Contracting Parties. Das further cites the relatively recent agreements on information technology goods and electronic commerce, as well as prospective introduction of provisions for the protection for investors’ rights, the social clause, and other pending proposals. These additions are seen to impact greatly on the national economies of member states; for instance, the proposals on the protection of investors’ rights will tend to impact greatly on the balance of payments situation of developing countries, as well as the balance of investments within the sectors and regions within their jurisdictions. The Doha Round is the most recent round of trade negotiations among members of the WTO. The principal aim of the Doha Round is to improve the trading prospects of developing countries....
ions are seen to impact greatly on the national economies of member states; for instance, the proposals on the protection of investors’ rights will tend to impact greatly on the balance of payments situation of developing countries, as well as the balance of investments within the sectors and regions within their jurisdictions.4 The Doha Round is the most recent round of trade negotiations among members of the WTO. More formally known as the Doha Development Agenda, it is comprised of talks in the areas of agriculture, non-agricultural market access (NAMA), services, intellectual property (TRIPs), trade and development, trade and environment, trade facilitation, WTO rules, special and differential treatment, and the dispute settlement understanding (DSU).5 The principal aim of the Doha Round is to improve the trading prospects of developing countries.6 To keep the discussion concise, it shall revolve around the crucial issues concerning agriculture, TRIPs, and the DSU. Agriculture WTO provisions In the Doha Round, the term “modalities” signifies a way or method of doing something, or more precisely, a plan for the final terms, such as how tariffs are to be cut, and how far agricultural support and subsidies are to be reduced, together with other associated conditionalities.7 The modalities in agricultural trade dealt on three areas – market access, domestic support, and export subsidies. In the case of access to markets, the tariffs, tariff quotas and safeguards were discussed for products such as pineapples, potatoes, cheese, sugar, beef, rice, wheat, and so forth. The cuts on tariff were agreed to depend on four factors, namely: (1) How high the current tariff is - For this first factor, it was agreed that higher tariffs have higher cuts – developed ... Read More
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