Emerging Agenda For Global Trade
High Stakes For Developing Countries
The authors show how international rules in new trade areas are needed and then consider the three highest profile issues: competition policy, labor standards, and linking trade and environment.
This essay addresses the "new-new" issues on the emerging agenda for the global trade negotiations to follow the recently concluded Uruguay Round. The authors first examine the extent to which international rules in new trade areas are needed and then consider the three highest profile issues: competition policy, labor standards, and linking trade and environment.
Robert Lawrence argues that if an international agreement on competition policy was possible, developing countries would derive considerable benefits. Dani Rodrik examines the evidence and concludes that labor standards—or lack thereof—have consequences for trade and foreign investment patterns. He then considers whether a social-safeguards approach can be made to work for labor standards and suggests that the risks of not negotiating such a clause outweigh the dangers of an inappropriately designed process. Finally, John Whalley argues that the central issue for trade and the environment is whether developing countries should be compensated for policies encouraging environmental restraint.
About the Authors
Robert Z. Lawrence is the Albert L. Williams Professor of International Trade and Investment at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Dani Rodrik is professor of economics and international affairs at Columbia University. John Whalley is professor of economics at the University of Western Ontario.
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