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Shang-Jin Wei and Mr. Arvind Subramanian
This paper furnishes robust evidence that the GATT/WTO has had a powerful and positive impact on trade. The impact has, however, been uneven. GATT/WTO membership for industrial countries has been associated with a large increase in imports estimated at about 40 percent of world trade. The same has not been true for developing country members, although those that joined after the Uruguay Round have benefited from increased imports. Similarly, there have been asymmetric effects among sectors, with WTO membership associated with substantially greater imports in sectors where barriers are low. These results are consistent with the history and design of the institution, which presided over significant trade liberalization by the industrial countries except in sectors such as food and clothing; largely exempted developing countries from the obligations to liberalize under the principle of special and differential treatment; but attempted to redress the latter by imposing greater obligations on developing country members that joined after the Uruguay Round.
Yongzheng Yang
Improving market access in industrial countries and retaining preferences have been Africa's two key objectives in the Doha Round trade negotiations. This paper argues that African negotiators may have overlooked the potential market access gains in developing countries, where trade barriers remain relatively high and demand for African imports has expanded substantially over the past decades. As reductions in most-favored-nation tariffs in industrial countries will inevitably lead to preference erosion, African countries need to ensure that the Doha Round leads to liberalization in all sectors by all World Trade Organization (WTO) members, so that the resulting gains will offset any losses. Such an outcome is more likely if African countries also offer to liberalize their own trade regimes and focus on reciprocal liberalization as a negotiation strategy rather on preferential and differential treatment.
International Monetary Fund

Round Table RTA Regional Trade Agreement SDT Special and Differential Treatment TIM Trade Integration Mechanism TRIPS Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization WTO World Trade Organization

International Monetary Fund

European Union FDI Foreign Direct Investment FSAP Financial Sector Assessment Program GATS General Agreement on Trade in Services GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade HIPC Heavily Indebted Poor Country LDC Least Developed Country MFN Most Favored Nation OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development RTA Regional Trade Agreement SDT Special and Differential Treatment TRIPS Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property