The Crisis in MTS: What Is To Be Done

The UNCTAD Trade and Development Reports in the last few years have set a high  standard of analysis. This year’s report  carries forward that tradition with distinction. It lays bare the downside of the “active” and “dynamic “ participation of developing countries in world trade over the past two decades. In doing so, it has made a notable attempt to move away from what it calls “a casual style of empiricism” and probed deeper into the phenomenon of apparently vigorous expansion of developing countries’ foreign trade. Five conclusions stand out and each one of them raises basic questions about the praxis of liberalization of trade and investment which has been in vogue for two decades:

( i )       Most developing countries are still exporting resource-and labour-intensive products and have not yet been able to establish a dynamic nexus between exports and income growth;  

(ii)  Statistics showing a considerable expansion of exports of manufactures from developing countries are misleading in that those exports , barring exceptions, relate to products of labour-intensive, assembly-type processes with little or low value added. The result is that while developing countries’ share in world manufacturing  exports has  risen, their share of  income form such exports has  declined.

(iii) Most of the value added is appropriated by the producers of imported components and parts embodying high technology and by Transnational Corporations (TNCs) organizing the international chains of production. In an environment of deregulation and liberalization of trade and investment and fierce  inter se competition  among developing countries for attracting TNC investment,  the former have little bargaining power to set  the terms and conditions for the latter to ensure indigenization of the production processes. This gives rise to the danger of enclave economies with high and persistent dependence on imported capital and  intermediate goods .

(iv) With  a simultaneous  export drive by developing countries in labour-intensive manufactures or increased competition among them to attract TNCs for location of labour-intensive processes of international production chains, the fallacy-of-composition problem surfaces, leading to non-realization or low realization of intended gains. The competition gets transformed into a competition among labour of different countries resulting in a downward pressure on wages.

(v)  A few countries have  seen sharp increases in their world manufacturing value-added ; however, none of the countries which have rapidly liberalized  trade and investment in the last two decades is in this category!

One would have thought that this trenchant critique of the ‘actually existing’ neo-liberalism would lead to an equally sharp policy prescription. I am afraid the report is sparing on this count. Even allowing for the obvious institutional constraint, the discussion on policy issues could have been more penetrating. But before one dwells on that aspect, it is necessary to say a few words about the  perspective which informs the report’s chapter on the multilateral trading system(MTS). Not only because the subject is of topical interest; but  also because that perspective, one suspects, is  largely at the root of the shortcoming on the policy prescription side.

On MTS  as seen in TDR

The Secretary General’s overview begins with a perceptive observation, an observation  imbued with a deep sense of history :  “It is a sign of troubled times when, in the search for solutions to the most pressing policy challenges of the day , it is considered necessary to look to earlier generations for guidance.” The chapter on multilateral trading system does not do justice to this insight.  The treatment of the historical setting of the multilateral trading system and the account and  analysis of the developments in that system in the last  decade and a half, reveal a narrow perspective. It steers clear of basic issues of political economy and is content with technicalities and jargon verging on banalities. Otherwise how could the chapter seriously talk about  there being a “renewed emphasis on development” in the MTS? Or be content with a  brief reference to the Havana Charter which does not mention the cardinal  features of its approach? Let us recall only two such features which are relevant to our times:  the Charter recognizes  the crucial role of the government, particularly with reference to   maintenance of effective demand in the case of the employment  goal and regulation of foreign investment in regard  to  development and reconstruction goals. Similarly, it  underlines  the failure of the market forces in important  areas of competition and commodities and  expects that the governments intervene co-operatively  to correct these failures at the international level.

Some of the elements of this broader approach  of the Havana Charter  to the problems of trade and development  were subsequently  pursued vigorously and in a strengthened form, by UNCTAD in the ‘sixties and ‘seventies, only to be lost again in the  ‘eighties  and  eventually substituted in the forum of GATT/WTO by an approach based on the diminution of the role of government (and state); vacation of  economic space in favour of the market forces; the concern about employment being replaced by fear of inflation and  that  about development  by the theme of integration of the developing countries into the world market system;  virtually unfettered movement of international capital  across the national borders; and, the growing use of the instrumentality of trade access for enforcing  an unusual degree of harmonization of the national systems of standards and regulations in the interest of Transnational Corporations (TNCs).

I have recalled the Havana Charter here, not because it was a revolutionary Charter, but because the underlying spirit of the Charter has been totally lost , with the shrinking of the role of UNCTAD, on the one hand, and the emergence of market fundamentalism, on the other. The backdrop of the Havana Charter provides  striking contrast to what is currently being sold  as a ‘development agenda.’

Is it possible to talk about “a renewed emphasis on development” only because there was a move to call the Doha work programme a development agenda? In what way have the development issues surfaced in trade negotiations in the WTO? Leaving aside the development issues proper, have  the problems being faced by developing countries as a result of the agreements arising out of the Uruguay Round - the so-called implementation issues- received priority attention?  Reportedly the only achievement so far has been the postponement of the deadline for work on the S&D issues.  As regards  the minimalist expectation regarding the “growth on growth”  formula for textile exports, not only is there no agreement on  the substantive issue, but there is not even an agreed report on what could not be done! Has the problem of downward trend in commodity prices been addressed? Is there any collective thinking, other than extolling the virtues of market mechanism, on the modalities for stabilization of these prices and ensuring remunerative prices to producers? Has the question of transfer of technology, which once engaged a central position in development debate and negotiations, received any consideration, other than an innocuous and ritual mention in the preamble of TRIPS whose primary concern is to enhance the ambit and degree of  monopolistic rights of private owners of intellectual property ?

Indeed the seeds of the process of iniquitous integration of  weaker countries into the multilateral trading system started with the commencement of GATT. It is interesting to recall that GATT itself came into being  in the background of the stillbirth of the relatively more equitable system visualized in the Havana Charter. It soon developed into a system which practised exclusion and  iniquitous integration. It was actuated by a political perspective. GATT was premised on  the exclusion of the Soviet bloc.  The use of non-application clause by almost all the European countries against Japan on its accession  was the first  instance of  iniquitous integration ordained for weaker countries in the system. The emergence of a topsy-turvy, anti-GATT regime on textiles manifested the same characteristic, first with respect to Japan and later, in regard to the whole lot of textile exporting developing countries.  So did the virtual absence of GATT discipline in agriculture, which was designed to help the two GATT majors and at the cost of a whole lot of smaller and weaker, agriculture- exporting countries. The iniquity could not be wished away with the ritual and largely empty gestures of addressing problems of developing countries. Even so, there was no concerted offensive against the developing countries until after the Tokyo Round, although that Round did witness the tentative beginnings of such moves, e.g. the emergence of the “code” approach. The  concerted onslaught started in the ‘eighties. And that was because the interregnum of the so-called “Golden Age of Capitalism” had  already  ended and Capital was desperately searching for new areas for expansion without which it could not cope with its internal crisis. And this required a paradigm shift in the multilateral trading system. The paradigm of cross-border trade in goods based on the Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) principle respected the autonomy of economic decision making for all its members. It also gave a virtual veto to all its members as far as the MFN right in regard to such trade was concerned. All this underwent a sea-change with the advent of the WTO.  Intra-border issues falling within the member countries’ sovereign space of  economic decision-making were brought within the jurisdiction of the WTO and a sanction was provided for emerging new disciplines in the shape of cross-retaliation. All this was done, steam-rolling the resistance put up by many developing countries which did not see any benefit in this expansion. The propelling force was not equity. Respecting  member countries’ national policy objectives was no longer treated as sacrosanct. The whole exercise can be understood only in terms of the compelling need of the TNCs and their home Governments to acquire ever expanding economic space for their operations, for maintaining and enhancing their extraction of surplus, for furthering the process of accumulation which is the condition of the system’s survival, its raison d’etre. Never mind if it chokes or debilitates the nascent project of national development of  the third world countries; or even makes the concept of economic sovereignty meaningless. This is the meaning of the paradigm shift that WTO brought about. To talk about a mere “change over” from GATT to WTO  characterized by some legal features such as the “ single undertaking” character of the Uruguay Round negotiations and the “single tier system of rights and obligations” of WTO; or to advert to administrative costs of  effecting transition to the new regime; or describe the  loss of sovereign economic space merely as requirement of “real side adjustments”:  is to miss the wood for the trees, to miss the political reality for legal technicality.

It is symptomatic of the perspective informing the chapter on MTS that it does not even mention the seven letter word “Seattle”. The march of WTO  from the triumph of Marrakesh to the fiasco at Seattle is perhaps treated as a bad dream, best forgotten and thus wished  and washed away from the flow of history. The Seattle fiasco surely deserves some analysis in the context of the crisis that the MTS is facing. But the limited perspective informing the chapter would not permit it. The importance of Seattle is that it mobilized those  “excluded” by  the system and those at whose cost the expansion of the system is taking place, to challenge the  trajectory of the system openly and vigorously. The trends set in motion by Seattle are part of the historical reality. And any analysis of the future of the MTS can ill-afford to ignore the far-reaching implications.

On Policy Prescription

Let us now turn to policy prescriptions  part of the report. In the background of the limited perspective revealed by the chapter on MTS, it does not come as a surprise that  the policy prescription part has little new or striking to say. In a nutshell it wants the MTS to be “more development-friendly”.  But, pray, why did it become less friendly or unfriendly to development, in the first instance? Will the forces that brought this about, the forces to which we referred  earlier, permit the sought for transformation? And it is not a question of wishing; it is a question of what is compatible with the system as it has been designed.  But there is no hint of analysis of such issues.

Following  the historical insight with which the overview begins, the policy prescriptions hark back  to the  “Golden age of Capitalism”. Developed countries should follow “the full range of macroeconomic and structural policies to accelerate growth and reduce unemployment.” Did they not do so in  1950s and 1960s  and absorb the entry of low- cost producers, the report asks. And it goes on to add that policy makers surely have the technical competence to design a “win-win” package for the current era.  The extent of such absorption of low-cost producers  in the past decades and the modalities adopted for the purpose, constitute a complex story. The Textiles derogation is a potent footnote to the proposition made in the report.  Leaving that issue aside, it is important to underline that the problem is hardly that of technical competence; it is a problem of political economy.

For the developing countries, the  report makes a call  for a faster expansion of domestic markets, a rapid technological upgrading and a well devised approach to FDI.  Again the example of East Asian NIEs is held out for emulation.

The  feasibility and success of those policies was specific to the historical conjuncture. It was not a trans-historical phenomenon containing universally applicable lessons. With the end of the specific conjuncture of the “ Golden age of Capitalism”, the policies had  no longer the same acceptability or feasibility. The  persisting crisis of the  global capital has begotten neo-liberalism and market fundamentalism. The geo-political realities too have undergone  total transformation. The systemic crisis is manifested in contradictions at different levels: within the industrialized countries; as between the industrialized countries; and between the industrial countries and the developing countries. It is also manifesting itself  as contradictions within developing countries; and the so-called fallacy of composition of exports and  the competition for FDI is generating the tensions between developing countries.  The loss of policy options for development for developing countries is integrally linked to the ascendancy of global finance capital, the prolonged recessionary trends in the centre of the system and increasing concentration and centralization of capital. In its contemporary phase commencing with the disappearance of the specific conjuncture which gave rise to the aberration of the “Golden Age”, the global capitalism has reverted to its systemic dynamic of expanding its fields of operation, availing of new opportunities for appropriation and intensifying the rate of exploitation.

In such a situation, the  issue of S&D  treatment (Special and Differential treatment in favour of developing countries) loses all meaning.  Even at the technical level, when one was talking about market access, S&D had a meaning. Now the system is no longer confined to cross-border market access.  The system is subverting the economic sovereignty of its weaker members. And all that it offers by way of redress to the affected members is a few years’ time   to come to terms with the subversion, to digest it. That is, in essence, the transitional arrangement that the system ‘generously’ provides.   For the weaker members, the S&D under the  expanded  and transformed MTS, would virtually seem to stand for Subversion and Domination. To confront  such a contingency, the weaker members  may  well define the optimal S&D strategy for themselves as: Selective De-linking. At a minimum, the logic of the situation demands that the weaker members work together for refashioning  the terms of their ongoing, iniquitous and imposed integration with  the system. They need to devise a  transitional strategy, that is to say, a strategy  relating to the eventual transition from the present unsustainable and contradiction- and conflict-ridden  system to a genuinely equitable and co-operative international order.  And this has got to be accomplished collectively and within the system so as to minimize the adverse fall-out of such a move.  Does the system provide some leeway for such a course? And what are the strategic, institutional and programmatic  ingredients of  such a move?  It is to this question that we now turn.

Strategic considerations

The possibility of a degree of moderation, if not redress, to the on-going process of inequitable integration can emerge only if formal democratic representation, as mandated in the constitution of WTO, is strategically exercised by those majority members who bear the costs of integration. In the earlier GATT system, the adroit use of the consensus principle in conjunction with a mutual awareness of the legal strength of the implicit veto, provided even a small group of countries with an effective means of influencing decisions, to an extent. This possibility has been eroded as a result of the paradigm shift, and, therefore, the South’s voting strength will have to be strategically mobilised. For this to happen,  there are two necessary conditions. First, all members must recognise that when the WTO extends its mandate beyond the cross-border exchange transactions and becomes engaged in the harmonisation of norms and standards for domestic policies and regulations, trade weights lose their relevance. The principle of ‘one-member-one-vote’ is more appropriate than ever before. Second, the solidarity of the South should be based on a shared understanding of the specific issue at hand, as well as the more general approach to the functioning of the global economic system. The strength of Group 77 arose out of the latter. The foundation of that approach was based on the recognition of the North-South divide. The Informal Group of Developing Countries in GATT was most effective when its operational methods resembled those of Group 77. The scope for similar co-ordination increased in the 1980s, precisely because GATT was moving away from its traditional agenda. However, a certain lack of perspective on the part of developing countries - combined with the tactical moves made by the USA, presumably with the dual purpose of pressuring EEC on the agricultural issue and neutralising the larger coalition of developing countries on the new issues - led to ‘issue-based’ coalitions being formed at the expense of a more general approach which would have reflected the common interests of the South. This could not, however, obliterate the basic divide.

Since the brunt of the inequitable integration process is being borne by the countries of the South, possible correction of the WTO trajectory can be effected only through their collective effort.

As stated earlier, the process of integration with built-in exclusion is unfolding not only at the global level in inter se relationships between industrialised core countries and developing countries, but also at the national economy level. It further deepens the social and political divide within, highlights the ‘democratic deficit’ of the process and lays bare the unaccountability of the forces propelling it. This dynamic should provide the South with an objective foundation for the renewal of solidarity, enabling the region to capture the democratic space provided by the constitution of WTO. This will call for certain institutional and programmatic initiatives.

Institutional and programmatic complement

Revival and strengthening of the Informal Group of Developing Countries

The first step is to revive and strengthen the Informal Group of Developing Countries in the WTO. Indeed, it need no longer be ‘informal’. With the replacement of the purely contractual, tariff negotiation-oriented GATT by the all-embracing and harmonization-oriented WTO, the group of developing countries should also acquire a more formal and institutional character in the WTO processes. The group, within itself, should clearly recognize the sub-group of the least developed countries (LDCs) as a necessary element of the solidarity of the South. The revival and re-inforcement of the group should serve to restore a measure of balance in WTO’s functioning and, in times of crisis, also provide a safety valve. Needless to say, this step by itself will not require any amendment of the constitution of WTO: all that is required, is an explicit recognition of the political reality by all members of the WTO.

‘Standstill’ and ‘rollback’

The second important and formal step is for the WTO to declare a ‘standstill’ on the ongoing process of deeper integration. This is necessary in order to restore confidence in the functioning of WTO. All new issues (such as labour standards and global investment regime) should be placed under an embargo for the time being. Further strengthening of the TRIPS and TRIMS disciplines should be postponed. The Group of Developing Countries should take the initiative in this regard. Such a standstill would provide an interval for a collective assessment of how the integration efforts to date have affected member countries, particularly those of the South and, among them, the poor and the least developed countries. Such an exercise cannot be allowed to become just one more in-house exercise of the WTO secretariat. To be meaningful and acceptable, the assessment needs to harness outside experts who have credibility with member states, particularly those of the South. However, before this review is possible, a waiver on the legal compliance of new disciplines such as TRIPS and TRIMS  by the specified dates, needs to be issued by the concerned WTO organs. The future of these disciplines should be decided in accordance with the findings of the assessment.

Considering the demanding nature of a new discipline like TRIPS, and the difficulties it engenders for developing countries, it may be necessary to launch further action in the form of a rollback. The demand for a ‘review’ of this discipline that surfaced during consideration of the builtin ‘implementation’ agenda  points to the same need. It is possible that the assessment exercise proposed above may produce sufficient material evidence and rationale for initiating a rollback of the integration process, where necessary.

Although the options of a standstill or a rollback should immediately provide the means of restoring the confidence of the majority members in WTO, it will also be necessary to initiate institutional reforms to make the system more equitable and truly universal. The formally democratic constitution of WTO makes it amenable to such a possibility. Nothing should be done to erode or dent this unique aspect of WTO in the name of the so-called efficiency or the ‘reality of the trade weights’. On the contrary, lessons need to be learned from recent events. More accommodating and equitable forms of international negotiation and decision-making should be evolved. This will require action at four different levels:

Plurilateral agreements

First and foremost, the modality of the plurilateral agreements should be taken out of its present limited context and used more liberally, whenever there is a lack of unanimity among member countries or the presence of strong reservations on the part of some, on the proposed disciplines on new issues calling for deeper integration. According to Article II.3 of the WTO Agreement, ‘the Plurilateral Trade Agreements do not create either obligations or rights for members that have not accepted them’. They are essentially ‘optional’ agreements. This modality is ideal in instances where, because of the different stages of economic development of the members and the diversity of their social goals and priorities, it is neither feasible nor desirable to attempt to subject all of them to a uniform discipline modelled on the systems of a few advanced countries and yoked to the interests of transnational corporations. This modality permits members who are interested in the new transnational disciplines on the new issues to proceed with their project on deeper integration without having, merely in the name of a consensus, to adjust their style to match the position of others. Indeed, if the new disciplines promote universal welfare, they will, in due course, attract a larger membership.

It would be legitimate for members of such a plurilateral agreement to refrain from extending the benefits of the arrangement to non-members. They should not, however, be allowed to impose it on non-members as a new conditionality for continued enjoyment by the latter of their trade rights derived from the MFN principle under GATT. In other words, the sting in the paradigm shift brought about by the WTO Agreement should be removed. No new agreement involving deeper integration should be allowed to become an integral part that is ‘binding on all members’. Even though this may not call for an amendment of the WTO Agreement as it stands today, it will require an explicit understanding or a decision at the highest legislative level of WTO, viz. ministerial conference, to the effect that no new disciplines are to be added to the WTO Agreement under Clause 2 of Article II. Whether any of the agreements  already annexed to the WTO Agreement under this clause would need to be converted into a  plurilateral agreement or otherwise modified  will have to be decided by means of  a formal amendment  to be considered in the light of the assessment  referred to above, in the context of  the standstill and rollback.

Reform of DSU

This approach to reforming the WTO will necessitate two additional concurrent moves. Both relate to the DSU. The mechanism in Article II.2 of the WTO Agreement is supported by the coercive sanction of cross-retaliation provided in DSU. Thus, it would only be logical that if  the resort to Article II.2 in future is relinquished, it is complemented by giving up cross-retaliation prospectively. As far as its application to the agreements already included in Annex 1 is concerned, the standstill and rollback decisions should appropriately provide for keeping cross-retaliation in abeyance.

Secondly, the provisions of DSU would need to be formally amended to ensure that the dispute settlement and appellate panels do not continue to enjoy unfettered authority to issue new laws through judicial pronouncements furthering deeper integration. This can be achieved by grouping the decisions of these bodies in two categories: (i) those related to the compensation and suspension of trade concessions and (ii) those which introduce ‘judicial’ law. While decisions related to trade concessions should be administered in accordance with   the present provisions regarding appeal and finality, the rulings of the nature of  judicial law should not have the virtually ‘automatic’ and ‘nofurther-appeal’ route. Judicial law-making, which has the potential of trumping national laws or creating new domestic laws for member countries, should be subjected to political approval at the highest legislative body in the WTO. And there too, decisions should be made by the highest majority, i.e. three-quarters majority. Alternatively, a decision could be made by a two-thirds majority, but would apply to a country only upon its acceptance of it.

Group system for negotiations

Recent experience has highlighted the need to introduce transparency and to make negotiations and the decision-making procedure truly participative. The opaque ‘green room’ procedures will no longer be sustainable. WTO’s large membership{} makes negotiations an increasingly cumbersome process.  Considerations of efficiency cannot, however, be allowed to subvert democratic functioning. In the circumstances, resort to some version of a ‘group system’ of negotiations seems inevitable. The need to revive and strengthen the Group of Developing Countries becomes reinforced in this context. The group system, as it functioned in UNCTAD, had been criticized in the past, and there is an element of truth in the criticism that negotiations thus conducted, tended to settle at the lowest common denominator. But this, in a diverse world, may be inevitable. The recent pursuit of ‘efficiency’ and highest possible levels of international discipline in the GATT/WTO forum has produced disastrous results.

Constitution of a three-tier structure

The most important institutional reform that WTO needs is to make the organization truly equitable in its approach, functioning and form. Formal equality in terms of one-member-one-vote is crucial, but not sufficient to bring about this objective. Although concern over this element has been visible through the history of GATT, it has not produced results. Indeed, in the late 1970s and more so in the 1980s, an offensive was launched to obliterate this concern ,to move the system away from the ideal and,  it succeeded only too well. The events now seem to be making a full circle. WTO does not need a ritualistic reiteration of the principle of ‘non-reciprocal, more favourable and differential treatment’ in favour of the developing countries. What is needed on the one hand is a formal constitution of a three-tier system and on the other, institutional arrangements to make up for the structural deficiency in the negotiating capability of the developing countries.

Taking the last item, institutional arrangements, first: negotiations in GATT/WTO have been marked by the non-participation or ineffective participation of many small developing countries, particularly the least developed countries. The maintenance of a permanent mission in Geneva is itself an onerous multilateral obligation. To have a mission with sufficient strength and quality is a problem which even relatively larger developing countries do not find easy to solve. What is essential, particularly for the least developed countries, is to have a WTO/UNCTAD-supported institutional arrangement that would make it possible for these countries to keep abreast of developments. Financial support, in some form, would allow these members to engage experts of their choice to help them to formulate their position on intricate issues.

With regard to the former issue, differences in the capacity of developing countries to take on the obligations of a multilateral system must be recognized. The least developed countries (LDCs) should be entitled to the benefits of the system from all members without being compelled to take on obligations. In this regard, other developing countries also should be prepared to extend such benefits to the LDCs without claims for counter-concessions. The next tier in the structure should include other developing countries, who should be entitled to similar treatment from the developed countries in accordance with the Framework Agreements as concluded in the Tokyo Round. The developing countries of this tier should also be prepared to take on additional obligations in line with their development. However, as enunciated earlier, they should have the assurance that the process of deeper integration would be entirely optional and that their trade rights and benefits would not be subjected to additional obligations and conditionalities. The third tier, consisting of the industrial countries, should be free to evolve disciplines to promote deeper integration amongst themselves, without converting these into additional conditionalities for other members.

In other words, the structure and functioning of WTO should be guided by the values of democracy and equity. If integration is conducted within such a framework, it is less likely to be inequitable. Integration, as it is being pursued at present, breeds built-in exclusion and is occasionally confronted by elective exclusion. But the contradiction cannot be resolved by a dogged pursuit - tegardless of the exclusion it breeds - of the current process of integration, nor by simply opting out of the system. What is needed is conscious  striving for equitable integration through institutional and political initiatives calculated to resolve the contradiction and achieve harmonious international economic relations. And in that process, the solidarity of the presently ‘excluded’ will play a decisive role.

The strategy and the plan of action outlined above are undoubtedly rooted in the Southern perspective. This is inevitable because WTO’s current impasse has a lot to do with the impact its functioning has on the South. More important, if the process of inequitable integration pursued in the GATT/WTO system has to be redressed, the Southern perspective has a crucial, functional significance. The structural reforms and other initiatives here suggested are intended to contribute to the evolution of a more equitable and viable international trading system, which should be a universal concern.

[The author, a development economist is a former Indian ambassador to GATT (March 1984, to February 1989), who played a leading role in the negotiations that led to the launch of the Uruguay Round, and subsequently in the negotiations. He has subsequently held high positions in the Indian government, as Secretary to the government in key economic ministries, and later as a Member of the Planning Commission. He has written and published extensively, including the Wider papers and study of the GATT and WTO. The above is the text of a presentation by him at an informal meeting of the UNCTAD Trade and Development Board on 9 October, where Shukla and three other panellists discussed the trade and development issues, and the options for the multilateral trading system. Portions of the text had been previously published by the author in a WIDER Working Paper "From GATT to WTO and Beyond" in August 2000 as well as in a chapter (under the same title) in WIDER's volume on "Governing Globalisation" published by Oxford University Press. This presentation is published with his consent.]