Chapter 1: Introduction: The GATT Uruguay Round, Trade Liberalization and the WTO
1. Introduction: the GATT Uruguay Round, trade liberalization and the WTO Chris Milner and Robert Read The WTO Meeting in Seattle in November 1999 was intended to mark the start of the new Millennium Round of trade negotiations, the ﬁrst since the completion of the GATT Uruguay Round and the creation of the WTO at Marrakesh in 1994. The primary purpose of the Seattle Ministerial Meeting was to agree upon the agenda for the new trade round over and above the ‘built-in’ agenda, the agenda for negotiations already agreed in the various Uruguay Round Agreements. The breakdown of the Seattle Meeting was the result of the failure of WTO member countries to agree upon a negotiated agenda for the next round of trade talks within the time available rather than anything to do with the high-proﬁle anti-globalization protests outside. This failure was caused by a number of factors, notably the perception that the leading industrialized countries, particularly the USA and the EU, were setting the negotiation agenda to address their own particular concerns, including competition, foreign direct investment (FDI) and labour standards. Further, many developing-country members were eﬀectively disenfranchised in that they were virtually excluded from the crucial ‘Green Room process’ in negotiating the agenda and were neither canvassed on their views concerning many issues of critical importance to them nor informed about the decisions taken on their behalf. In spite of the failure of the Seattle Meeting, negotiations based upon the built-in agenda began in 2000. The...
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