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|Title:||The view from the other side of the table: WTO accession from the perspective of members|
|Citation:||New Reflections on International Trade: Essays on Agriculture, WTO Accession and Systemic Issues, 2007 / Streatfeild, J., Lacey, S. (ed./s), Ch.4, pp.75-98|
|Publisher Place:||London (UK)|
|Abstract:||This paper was originally prepared for the Islamic Development Bank’s Seminar on WTO Accession Issues for selected Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) Member Countries, which took place on 28 -29 March 2006, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It offers a detour from the well-trodden ground of WTO accession procedures and the challenges acceding countries face throughout their accession negotiations, and instead focuses on the WTO accession process from the point of view of those on the other side of the table, namely WTO members. WTO accession as an issue has traditionally and indeed still continues to take a back seat to other fields of activity within the WTO, which tend to attract more attention from members as well as grabbing more headlines in the media.1 These more well-known issues include WTO dispute settlement, as well as the ongoing multilateral trade negotiations within the struggling Doha Round. It is perhaps for this reason that the topic of WTO accession tends to attract only a handful of members, who take a consistent and systemic interest in the topic.2 This paper is divided into two sections. Section One discusses the of acceding countries and makes an intellectual distinction between: 1) market access issues; 2) systemic issues, and; 3) non trade-related issues. Section Two of the present paper looks at some of the issues, which come up, in particular, under two different sectors, namely trade in agriculture and trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights. What is interesting is that each Member seems to have its own ‘pet’ issues on which it will invariably take a firm and committed stance. Also interesting is the fact that when two neighbouring countries are negotiating with one another, one as a Member and the other as an applicant, the Member can sometimes be relied upon to make a whole series of bilateral trade issues part of the multilateral accession process, thereby capitalising on its brief negotiating leverage. Finally, there seems to be a consensus that once bilateral deals have been completed with the few major players, accession negotiations tend to become a matter of dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s, although, again, this strategy can also come unravelled in the face of a recalcitrant Member who has chosen to take a tough and committed stance on a particular issue.|
|Rights:||Copyright © Cameron May|
|Appears in Collections:||Aurora harvest 4|
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