Improving Trade Policy Reviews in the World Trade Organizationby Donald B.Kessing
The Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) was established in 1989 during the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Now a responsibility of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which replaced the GATT, the TPRM provides mutual surveillance of WTO members' trade policies. Such surveillance provides information on the trade practices of all countries and establishes a forum within which members can question one another's policies.
Donald Keesing offers an in-depth history of the TPRM since its inception, detailing the process by which reviews are conducted and their results are used. He identifies several challenges for the TPRM: improving the quality and scope of the reviews, obtaining additional resources to realize those improvements and conduct more reviews, and disseminating the results to a broad audience -- including businessmen and academia in addition to the trade negotiators themselves. Keesing also proposes that a formal outside advisory committee be created to guide the TPRM in meeting these challenges.
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