WTO Working Papers

WTO working papers usually represent research in progress. Such research may be conducted in the preparation of WTO Secretariat reports, studies or other material for WTO members. The papers are circulated for comment because the WTO considers critical review of professional research to be extremely important.


The Long and Winding Road

How WTO Members Finally Reached a Trade Facilitation Agreement

The paper chronicles the negotiating history of the recently concluded Trade Facilitation Accord. Analysing the various stages of the decade-long effort to get the Agreement off the ground, it examines what was at stake in the negotiations, how they evolved and why they finally succeeded - despite many obstacles and detours along the way. The study also suggests ways in which the exercise has broken new ground – for Trade Facilitation rule-making at the global level, for how WTO Members negotiate agreements, and for the world trading system as a whole.


Keywords: trade facilitation negotiations, WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation, multilateral trading system, negotiating history
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