This study assesses the post Uruguay Round GATT system and concludes that the need for further reform is far-reaching. The authors find that the principles underlying the current system–nondiscrimination and multilateralism–will not adequately serve in the future to reduce barriers and promote trade. The study outlines innovative new approaches to reduce the level of protection and harness new regional trading arrangements to improve global economic performance. It examines the fundamental change in the trade system of the 1990s: the emergence of three economic superpowers (the European Union, Japan, and the United States) that have both common and conflicting interests in global trade reform. The authors argue that a crucial challenge in the years ahead will be to prevent the serious conflicts that are now emerging from devolving into full-blown hostilities, and recommends measures to do so. They also discuss the growing pressures to link trade policy and nontrade issues, particularly environmental objectives, and to broaden the participation of the developing countries in the trading system. They stress that these and other pressures will inevitably force substantial change in the system, and they set out practical suggestions for reform to address them.
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