Essay on the Transition to a New International Trade Regime under WTO

The USA, EU and Japan together account for more than two-thirds of world trade in goods and services. There are sharp divisions between them on the issue of trade liberalization, especially between the USA and EU. There are also conflicts between regional trading blocs (which are rapidly increasing in number), as well as within the group of developing countries with similar commodity-baskets of exports but dissimilar cost structures.

These conflicts are likely to increase in future as countries shift to new technologies to reduce costs to face intense competition in global commodity markets. Further, fluctuations in international commodity prices and recession in any trading country will now have far-reaching effects in a closely integrated global economy.

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The WTO framework includes a whole set of Agreements affecting different issues in cross-border trade. Some of the Agreements which are likely to affect SSI sector are the following:

a. Agreement on Textiles and Clothing

b. Agreement on Anti-Dumping Measures

c. Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures

d. Agreement on Safeguard Measures

e. Agreement on Government Procurement

f. Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures

g. Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)

h. Agreement on Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Measures (SPS)

i. Agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs)

j. Agreement on Trade Related Investment Measures (TRIMs)