WTO and Pakistan: Opportunities and Policy Challenges

Zafar Mahmood

Abstract


From its inception the GATT had guided international trade
most successfully until the early 1970s. However, afterwards the
developed countries (DCs) increasingly recurred to new forms of trade
restrictions not covered by the GATT rules. Ironically, these “grey
measures” were mostly against the less developed countries (LDCs). These
measures constrained international trade exactly at the time when the
LDCs started penetrating developed markets. One of the main objectives
of the Uruguay Round (UR) accord was to restrict the surge of
protectionism. The accord was the most ambitious and detailed trade
accord of all the GATT rounds. It established the World Trade
Organisation (WTO). Before the UR accord the discrimination in textiles,
clothing and agriculture was severe because tariffs and non-tariff
barriers (NTBs) were employed in such a way that the overall effect of
protection accumulated. The Round had agreed upon the harmonisation and
reduction of tariffs, and elimination of NTBs (in stages) and thus it is
expected that the effective protection will diminish in the DCs. The new
accord has ensured multilateral rules for these sectors. All members
expected that protection would be eventually lower with full
implementation of the accord. In order to protect the interest of
different groups the WTO has now lay down nondiscriminatory trading
rules for services and trade-related aspects of intellectual property
rights (TRIPs), thus covering all major fields of international trade
policy.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v37i4IIpp.687-701

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