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.



Rules and norms

Aristotle would likely approve of the way that the decision-making processes of the multilateral trading system allow for adaptation, innovation and an emphasis on unwritten norms over formal rules. A literal reading of GATT 1947 and the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO Agreement) gives one only an imperfect idea of how decisions are made, with the procedures that are actually followed having evolved over decades of experience, improvisation and accommodation. That evolution was neither easy nor settled, however, and one bloc or another often proposes tweaks or major changes in how issues are deliberated, decisions are made and commitments are enforced.


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