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The World Trade SystemTrends and Challenges$
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Jagdish N. Bhagwati, Pravin Krishna, and Arvind Panagariya

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035231

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035231.001.0001

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The World Trade System Today

The World Trade System Today

(p.1) 1 The World Trade System Today
The World Trade System

Jagdish N. Bhagwati

Pravin Krishna

Arvind Panagariya

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses on going trends in the world trade system. The landscape of the international trade system has undergone substantial change in recent decades. While many multilateral successes were achieved under the GATT, the failure of the WTO member countries to successfully close the Doha round of trade negotiations has now engendered a mood of pessimism regarding the future of the multilateral system. Countries have turned to preferential (and thus discriminatory, albeit GATT-legal) trade agreements and many new deals are now under negotiation, including the “mega-regional” agreements – the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between the United States and Pacific-rim countries and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union. At the same time, developing countries having expanded their participation in international trade, challenge the international system to accommodate their interests and aspirations. Finally, worsening global economic conditions and a populist focus on the alleged links between the inequality of incomes within countries and globalization, have generated a protectionist backlash affecting political outcomes in many countries.

Keywords:   GATT, WTO, Preferential Trade Agreements, Mega Regional Agreements, NAFTA, TPP, TTIP, Poverty, Inequality, Trade Liberalization

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