The Final Act of the Uruguay Round was signed in Marrakesh in April 1994, bringing to a conclusion the eighth and most ambitious set of multilateral trade negotiations. One hundred and twenty-five countries participated in the Round, which will reduce tariff and nontariff barriers to trade in goods, strengthen trade rules and extend multilateral rules to new areas—services and intellectual property—and establish the World Trade Organization. Developing countries participated more actively in the negotiations than hitherto and will be more fully integrated into the multilateral trading system after the Round. This paper investigates the economic implications of these different aspects of the Uruguay Round on industrial, developing, and transition economies, based on information available at the time of preparation of the paper. A quick reference guide to the Round provides a synopsis of the main results (Appendix I) and should be read in conjunction with individual sections below.
Trade reforms are being increasingly featured in the design of adjustment programs supported by Fund resources. This paper reviews the trade policy content of Fund-supported programs approved in the period 1990–93.2
Antidumping is by far the most frequently used (GATT-legal) instrument of administered or contingent protection2 among industrial countries, and its use has been spreading in recent years with developing countries, and some transition countries, taking an increasing interest in formal antidumping measures. Whether antidumping is a problem or a solution in the multilateral trading system depends on what countries aim to achieve through antidumping policies, whether it is an appropriate instrument to achieve these objectives, and whether the benefits appear to justify the implied social costs.
Mr. Peter P Uimonen, Mr. Arvind Subramanian, Ms. Naheed Kirmani, Ms. Nur Calika, Mr. Michael P. Leidy, and Mr. Richard T. Harmsen
This study reviews major issues and developments in trade and their implications for the work of the IMF. Volume I, The Uruguay Round and Beyond: Principal Issues, gives an overview of the issues and developments in the world trading system. Volume II, The Uruguay Round and Beyond: Background Papers, presents detailed background papers on selected trade and trade-related issues. This study updates previous studies published under the title Issues and Development in International Trade Policy.
The globalization of the world economy has increased attention on domestic policy instruments that have an impact on the conditions of competition between domestic and foreign sources of supply (imports and foreign direct investment). Competition policy is one such domestic policy—its formulation and enforcement has led in some cases to trade frictions between countries. The Uruguay Round agreement has widened the scope of domestic policies (subsidies, standards, government procurement, services, intellectual property, and so on.) addressed internationally. At the April 1994 Marrakesh meeting concluding the Uruguay Round, a number of countries expressed the view that competition policies should be included in the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) future work agenda.
Concern about the environment has grown markedly in the recent past. At the Earth Summit in 1992, governments collectively espoused the concept of “sustainable development”—meeting present needs without compromising those of future generations—thereby signaling a common concern for the environment. The global nature of environmental problems has potentially increased the scope of the interface between trade and the environment.
Regional trading arrangements2 have become increasingly important in the relations among Fund members. This paper reviews recent developments in regional trading arrangements, factors contributing to their proliferation, and the effects of increased regionalism including its compatibility with multilateral liberalization. This is supported by a comprehensive catalog of existing arrangements (in Appendix I). Two of the most prominent regional initiatives, the European Union (EU)3 and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), are reviewed in some detail. Selected agreements are examined briefly in Appendices II-IX (the EU’s trading relations with transition and Mediterranean economies, the Southern Cone Common Market (Mercosur), the Central African Customs and Economic Union (UDEAC), the Cross-Border Initiative (CBI), the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)). Appendix X provides information in intra- and extra-regional trade flows.