The WTO Agreements: Deficiencies, Imbalances and Required Changes
Bhagirath Lal Das


ISBN: 983-9745-25-8
No.of pages: 136pp (paperback)
Size: 16.5cm x 24cm

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is rapidly establishing itself as one of the most important international agencies. The Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations ended in 1994 with massive publicity about the claimed benefits of the Round's results.

This timely book counters the one-sided acclaim by presenting a balanced view. It provides a concise analysis of the various WTO Agreements and pinpoints their many deficiencies and imbalances (from the viewpoint of developing countries). Just as useful, it provides several specific proposals to offset or overcome the weaknesses and imbalances. The following issues are scrutinised:

  • The WTO's dispute settlement mechanisms.

  • Market access and tariffs.

  • Balance of payment measures and safeguard measures.

  • Subsidies and countervailing measures, and anti-dumping.

  • Agreements in sectors: agriculture and textiles.

  • Non-traditional issues: services and intellectual property rights.

  • New protectionism in developed countries in Part IV of GATT.

The author concretely identifies altogether 44 items of deficiencies and imbalances and provides 49 suggestions for improvements to the Agreements and the WTO system.

The book ends with a chapter on whether the suggested improvements are possible in the current multilateral environment. It concludes that all is possible, provided the developing countries are united in moving for positive changes. The end of the book also contains a helpful summary of the positive features in various Agreements, deficiencies and imbalances in them, and the author's suggestions for improvements.

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