Accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), is like no accession to any other international organization. It is extremely demanding on applicant countries and time consuming. This article argues that existing GATT/WTO members select themselves into the Working Party of applicant countries, the body whose members can stall accession and engage in bilateral trade negotiations with the applicant, in order to strategically delay membership by the applicant country and/or extract concessions from it. Existing members will select themselves into a specific Working Party if they fear that they might lose out after the new member enters the exclusive club and benefits from its trading privileges, which will be the case if they are relatively dependent on bilateral trade with the applicant country and if they compete strongly with the applicant in terms of export product or export market structure. An empirical analysis of Working Party membership over the period 1978 to 2005 shows that the theoretically derived determinants of membership are in fact substantively important drivers of the composition of Working Parties in accession processes to the GATT/WTO.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Neumayer: Strategic Delaying and Concessions Extraction in Accession Negotiations to the World Trade Organization
Eric Neumayer (LSE - Geography and Environment) has posted Strategic Delaying and Concessions Extraction in Accession Negotiations to the World Trade Organization. Here's the abstract: