World Trade after the Uruguay Round: Prospects and Policy Options for the Twenty-First Century

By Harald Sander; András Inotai | Go to book overview
Save to active project

1

MULTILATERALISM, REGIONALISM AND GLOBALISATION

The challenges to the world trading system 1

Harald Sander


INTRODUCTION

The Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was the most comprehensive round in the succession of multilateral trade talks, both in scope and duration. Ironically, its ambitious agenda was set up and had to be negotiated during a time when the GATT system of multilateral and non-discriminatory trade policy was facing two serious challenges: an increasing non-tariff protectionism by industrial countries and a new wave of regionalism, visible in the proliferation of new trading blocs around the globe as well as in the extension and deepening of existing ones.

The rise in protectionist practices was more than just a backlash against multilateral tariff reductions negotiated in earlier GATT rounds. As those measures predominantly surfaced as non-tariff barriers to trade, directed against particular trading partners, they violated the spirit of the GATT which stands for a ‘fix-rule’ trading regime, with these rules applying to all GATT members without discrimination (except under specific, multilaterally agreed criteria). Likewise, regionalism almost by definition discriminates against non-members of a trading bloc as the latter receive less favourable treatment than club members.

These threats to the multilateral trading system must be seen against the background of a changing economic geography, both in terms of an uneven relative growth performance by individual countries and regions in the world economy and, of special interest here, in terms of changing patterns of trade, investment and production, a process commonly referred to as globalisation. Globalisation is visible in the financial sphere, in trade, and in cross-border investments. It is predominantly driven by microeconomic forces, like new technologies and globally oriented corporate strategies, but at the same time it has been propelled and reinforced by the market-oriented policy framework prevailing since the early 1980s. The subsequently increased intensity

-17-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
World Trade after the Uruguay Round: Prospects and Policy Options for the Twenty-First Century
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 200

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?