Public participation in
the World Trade Organization
Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, USA
We must build a trading system for the 21st century that honours our values as it expands opportunity. 1 … We must do more to ensure that spirited economic competition among nations never becomes a race to the bottom. We should be leveling environmental protections up, not down … Sustainable development is a stated objective and mission of the WTO. Achieving this goal will require greater inclusiveness and transparency in WTO proceedings to win the confidence of people around the world. 2
(President William Jefferson Clinton)
For the past 50 years, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its predecessor organization, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), have been—in common parlance—on a roll. The volume of trade governed by WTO rules during that period has grown 13-fold, reaching annual levels of US$5.3 trillion in merchandise and US$1.3 trillion in services in 1998. Tariff levels that in 1947 averaged 40–50 per cent of the value of goods, today average 4 per cent. Membership in the organization now boasts 139 countries, with 30 more aspiring to join. 3
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Role of the World Trade Organization in Global Governance. Contributors: Gary P. Sampson - Editor. Publisher: United Nations University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2001. Page number: 113.
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