Chapter

The Multilateral Trading System

Sylvia Ostry

in Oxford Handbook of International Business

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780199241828
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596834 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199241821.003.0009
The Multilateral Trading System

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The main changes in the multilateral world‐trading system since and including the GATT Uruguay Round in 1994 are summarized, and the most urgent reforms needed to keep the system going are highlighted. The roots of the changes that have occurred are traced to the transformation of the trading system initiated in the Uruguay Round, in which the new issues of intellectual property and services were included; however, the spread of Internet use in the mid‐1990s has been equally important. In addition, there are ongoing changes in the climate of ideas that raise questions about the neoclassical model at the core of economics and trade policy. It is argued that if the rules‐based system is to endure, coping with these changes will require structural reform not only of the WTO (GATT's replacement) but also of the post‐war international architecture.

Keywords: GATT; international trade; multilateral world trading system; trade policy; Uruguay Round; WTO

Chapter.  11694 words. 

Subjects: International Economics

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