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World Trade Report 2006

Exploring the Links Between Subsidies, Trade and the WTO

image of World Trade Report 2006

The annual World Trade Report focuses on trade policy issues - the core topic addressed in 2006 is subsidies. The Report also takes a look at recent trade developments and examines a range of trade topics, including trade in textiles and clothing, flows of international receipts and payments of royalties and license fees, trends in the trade of least-developed countries, and the impact of natural disasters and terrorist acts on international trade flows. The World Trade Report is useful for policymakers and for any individuals or groups interested in global trade policy.

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Selected trade developments and issues

The Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) came to an end on 1 January 2005. Much interest, not to mention concern, was expressed about the likely impact on production and trade of the removal of quota restrictions. It was apparent to most observers that there would be winners and losers from the additional liberalization. It is too early to say how the market will look beyond the relatively short period upon which we can base our observations, but this note looks at what we know so far about the pattern of trade that has emerged since the quantitative restrictions were (largely) removed. A caveat is in order here: there can be little doubt that the termination of the AT C affected the patterns of trade observed in 2005, but we have not developed a rigorous analytical approach to the question of what other factors might also influence the pattern of trade flows.

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