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Breaking the Seattle Deadlock

March 2000

The failure of the WTO Ministerial meeting in Seattle was a big blow to those who see trade liberalization as an important component of economic management and development. The immediate priority is to restore good faith among WTO members and confidence in the WTO. Wang and Winters argue that the developing countries have to be brought much more securely into the trading system, with greater attention being paid to their needs.

The failure of the WTO Ministerial meeting in Seattle was a big blow to those who see trade liberalization as an important component of economic management and development. The immediate priority is to restore good faith among WTO members and confidence in the WTO. Wang and Winters argue that the developing countries have to be brought much more securely into the trading system, with greater attention being paid to their needs. Developing countries should approach a round of trade liberalization with a firm view of their priorities, and seek to ensure that WTO obligations will assist in achieving them. Developed countries also need to review and revise their widely disparate agendas and start to bridge their differences. WTO members need to agree to procedural reform of the WTO and to improve its performance as an intergovernmental institution.

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Author(s): Zhen Kun Wang and L. Alan Winters
Moore Wilson Digital Agency London