Unilateral liberalization within the GATT/WTO system
Title: Unilateral liberalization within the GATT/WTO system
Author: FINGER, Joseph Michael
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS PP; 2015/05; Global Governance Programme
Will the liberal international trading system be extended by building it into a global public good through the ceding of authority over trade control instruments to a supra-national authority? Or will we see a bottom-up process, propelled by the work of millions of entrepreneurs who partner up across borders, their efforts facilitated by cooperation through organizations such as the WTO? I argue that the latter interpretation is more descriptive of the extensive liberalization by developing countries in recent decades. The future international trading system will not be one of supra-national sovereignty, but one in which no national government imposes more than minimal restrictions on the freedom of its citizens to engage in economic transactions with citizens of other countries. (The world economy will not be made in the image of the European Union.) In support, I draw on recent research on liberalization in Latin America.
Subject: Trade policy; WTO; Political economy; Global trading system
Type of Access: openAccess