The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is mandated by governments to achieve full employment, a steady growth in real income, and higher standards of living for its 150 plus member countries. It’s role is also to ensure the optimal use of the world’s resources in accordance with sustainable development. As a result, the WTO has greatly extended its reach into non-traditional areas of trade policy. This has taken place against the reality that the WTO is only part of a more global structure of international agreements with overlapping objectives and commitments, many of which now find their place on centre-stage at the WTO.
These commitments serve to shape domestic policy choices and constitute a principal feature of global governance. The WTO has a principal role to play in determining the borderline between domestic policy choices and international commitments. While the extended reach of the WTO is lauded by some as one of the greatest achievements in international cooperation, others see it as anathema, and an encroachment on national sovereignty. The question which presents itself is: What should be the role of the WTO in global governance.
This book contains a variety of views of prominent people – all influential in their respective areas of international affairs – as to the proper role of the WTO in global governance. It explores the policy implications of WTO trade related issues that overlap with other institutions, and proposes future policy directions that could ensure coherent and consistent policies at the national and international level.
Gary P. Sampson is the John Gough Professor of International Trade at Melbourne Business School, Melbourne University, and Professor of International Economic Governance at the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) in Yokohama, Japan.
Gary Sampson: “Overview”
The bigger picture:
Non trade related issues:
Importance of development:
Dispute settlement and governance: