The IMF, World Bank and the WTO
Robert J. Riley INTRODUCTION In many respects, academic criticism of the World Trade Organisation is much less intense than that of either the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund. Anne Krueger (1998), in her discussion of the evolution of Bank and Fund policies, writes that: In pondering these issues, one striking fact should be borne in mind: the most effective institution over the past half century – judged by world economic performance – was the GATT, which was not even an international organisation. The WTO came about, almost without planning, because it was in the interests of the major trading nations to strengthen the organisation. (p. 2017) John Jackson (1994) also argues that the GATT has been tremendously successful, and proposes some of the reasons behind its record since it was founded. He writes that: Despite this inauspicious beginning, the GATT has been remarkably successful over its nearly five decades of existence. Its success is partly due to its ingenious and pragmatic leadership, particularly in its early years, as the GATT struggled to fill the gap left by the failure of the International Trade Organisation. (p. 134) He argues that while the GATT suffered from many early problems and ‘birth defects’, including ineffective dispute resolution mechanisms, it has managed to evolve and improve over the past 50 years. He finds the creation of the WTO, with the establishment of that mechanism in particular, to be yet another step forward in its institutional development. In a similar vein, Charnovitz (2002) makes the...
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