Academic journal article Law and Policy in International Business

Panel I E: Unmasking the Wto: Access to the System: Presentation Summary and Comments

Academic journal article Law and Policy in International Business

Panel I E: Unmasking the Wto: Access to the System: Presentation Summary and Comments

Article excerpt

Question and Answer Summary: Wilson stated that the issue is how to implement the list of reforms proposed by Ragosta. Ragosta responded that it has been disturbing to him that the developing countries so strongly rejected reforms. He agreed that the current system is quasi-adjudicative, and that this is an unstable situation. The issue may be whether to move forward or backward, and since it is difficult to move backward, it is necessary to move forward to a system that includes private party participation.

Andrew Shoyer(1) commented on the discussion, noting that many developing countries appear to believe that greater transparency and access will amplify U.S. positions, because they see most of the non-governmental organizations as reflecting the views of the United States and Western Europe. Ragosta responded that the developing countries themselves must gain much greater access, and non-governmental organizations must do a better job at explaining why transparency is not against developing country interests. Wallach stated that many developing country governments have an interest in not giving access to non-governmental organizations originating in their own countries. Shirzad said that the fact that a sovereign government fails to raise a particular position does not make its interests illegitimate. He added that the lack of a domestic consensus on an issue does not make the dispute settlement system flawed.

Victor Luiz Do Prado(2) said that the least-developed countries, and developing countries in general, feel that access for non-governmental parties will favor developed countries. He said that these organizations are based and funded in developed countries and that poor countries lack comparable groups.

Ragosta was asked whether he was referring to public interest groups, or only private businesses, in his discussion of access. Ragosta responded that domestic courts address the fact that there is a multiplicity of parties. He said that the WTO would perhaps have to address the issue of standing if access were increased. …

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