The History and Future of the World Trade Organization

image of The History and Future of the World Trade Organization

The History and Future of the World Trade Organization is a comprehensive account of the economic, political and legal issues surrounding the creation of the WTO and its evolution. Fully illustrated with colour and black-and-white photos dating back to the early days of trade negotiations, the publication reviews the WTO's achievements as well as the challenges faced by the organization, and identifies the key questions that WTO members need to address in the future.



The theory and practice of the multilateral trading system

The thought is the father to the deed, and the multilateral trading system could never have been built if it had not first been imagined. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is not the product of just one idea, however, or even one school of thought. It instead represents the confluence of, and sometimes the conflict between, three distinct areas of theory and practice. Law, economics and politics have each inspired and constrained the capacity of countries to work together for the creation and maintenance of a rules-based regime in which members with widely different levels of economic development and asymmetrical political power work together to reduce barriers to trade. It is therefore fitting to begin this history with a review of the intellectual prehistory of the WTO, as well as the contemporary debates surrounding each of these fields.


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