The Evolution of the World Trading System – The Economic and Policy Context

Gilbert R. Winham

in The Oxford Handbook of International Trade Law

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780199231928
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

The Evolution of the World Trading System – The Economic and Policy Context


The term ‘world trading system’ refers to the various contemporary arrangements of trading relations between countries, and particularly the system of multilateral rules following two great wars and a worldwide economic depression. This article discusses the important role of trade in the transition from the ancient to the modern world. It deals with the main purpose of the general agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT) to establish a legal mechanism for tariff negotiations, and to provide rules that would deter countries from reinstating protectionism through non-tariff means. It includes the achievements of the Uruguay Round negotiation. The Doha Round layed groundwork to address more effectively the problem of development in the world trading system in the future. It refined the methodology of negotiating regulatory agreements for the later successes of the Uruguay Round.

Keywords: world trading system; multilateral rules; Uruguay Round; general agreement on tariffs and trade; Doha Round

Article.  11090 words. 

Subjects: Law ; International Law

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