During the 1990s the developing countries' trade policies underwent consolidation and further liberalization. Consolidation was important in developing countries such as Chile and Morocco, which had liberalized significantly during the 1980s and needed to ensure continued domestic support for their existing trade regimes. Other developing countries, for example Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Zambia, only began to initiate and implement liberalizing reforms in the 1990s. All developing-country members of the WTO had to make a considerable effort to internalize their commitments under the Uruguay Round agreements. Many developing countries were also especially active in forging closer regional trade links, through preferential trade arrangements with both developing and developed countries.
The GATT/WTO published findings of the Trade Policy Reviews, (TPRs) conducted on a regular basis since the beginning of the 1990s, are an important source of primary information on the evolution of developing-country policies, which has yet to be systematically analyzed. The main objective of the review mechanism is to ‘contribute to improved adherence by all WTO members to rules, disciplines and commitments under the Multilateral Trade Agreements by achieving greater transparency and understanding of the trade policies and practices of members’ ( WTO, 1995, p. 434). The reviews provide detailed information on policies and institutions that affect imports and exports on a consistent basis over time. All this information has been reviewed and discussed by the countries in question and the WTO Members (and previously the GATT Contracting Parties) and can therefore be considered accurate and authoritative. While