WTO’s suggestion for turning the proliferation of ‘free trade agreements’ to positive account. bq. “Two ground rules of policy behaviour could help to consolidate and build upon the benefits of regionalism and promote a more effective multilateral trading system . bq. The first rule would be to refrain from engaging in regional commitments (on issues covered within the mandate of the WTO) which governments would be unwilling, sooner or later, to extend to a multilateral setting. The second would be to consolidate the first rule by agreeing to a consultative system that would map and monitor the timing and conditions attached to the non-discriminatory, multilateral application of commitments made in regional arrangements. ” From the WTO’s “World Trade Report 2003”, now available from their “website(link to the summary and download links on WTO site)”:http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/pres03_e/pr348_e.htm.
Peter Gallagher is a leading Australian consultant on trade and public policy.[bio].
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