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Paying the Price for Joining the WTO: A Comparative Assessment of Services Sector Commitments by WTO Members and Acceding Countries, Economic Paper 54

Overview

This paper focuses on the accession process for new WTO membership. The basic premise is that the commitments demanded are too onerous for new members. It argues that the whole process is fundamentally flawed and, in fact, forces applicant countries to accept demands that are not required under WTO agreements.

Section 2 is a brief discussion of the process of accession and highlights the inherent flaws.

Section 3 focuses on one of the crucial ...

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Overview

This paper focuses on the accession process for new WTO membership. The basic premise is that the commitments demanded are too onerous for new members. It argues that the whole process is fundamentally flawed and, in fact, forces applicant countries to accept demands that are not required under WTO agreements.

Section 2 is a brief discussion of the process of accession and highlights the inherent flaws.

Section 3 focuses on one of the crucial international trade agreements, the General Agreement in Trade and Services (GATS) and provides sector-specific commitments by countries.

Section 4 uses a series of statistical tests to verify whether acceding countries have made significantly higher number of specific commitments than existing WTO members.

Section 5 makes some concluding observations.
The paper uses a strong body of econometric evidence to support its claim that acceding countries undertake greater commitments than those made by WTO members of a similar development status.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780850927504
  • Publisher: Commonwealth Secretariat
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Series: Economic Paper Series
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 7.62 (w) x 9.94 (h) x 0.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Roman Grynberg is the Deputy Director of the Economic Affairs Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, London.

Mohammad A. Razzaque is Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. He has written extensively on trade policy issues.

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Executive Summary
1 Introduction 1
2 The Process of Accession to the WTO 3
3 GATS and Sector Specific Services Commitments 9
4 Comparison of Specific Commitments 17
5 Concluding Observations 39
References 43
App. 1 Services Sectoral Classification 45
App. 2 Summary of Specific Commitments in the Services Sectors at the 1-digit Level 48
App. 3 Commitments by Countries at the 2-digit Level 51
App. 4 Commitments by Countries at the Most Disaggregated Level 54
App. 5 Cross-country Relationship between PPP GDP Per Capita and Number of Commitments at the 3-digit Level 57
App. 6 Cross-country Relationship between Export-GDP Ratio and Number of Commitments at the 3-digit Level 58
App. 7 Actual Less Predicted Commitments at the 3-digit Level based on All Countries in the Regression Model (Column 4 under 3-digit level commitments in Table 14) 59
App. 8 Actual Less Predicted Commitments at the 3-digit Level based on Regression Coefficient Excluding Acceding Countries and EC as a Single Unit 60
App. 9 Actual Less Predicted Commitments at the 3-digit Level based on All Countries in Regression Model and EC as a Single Unit 61
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