The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established with an alluring promise of enhancing the living standards of people around the world, creating jobs and spurring development, while ensuring equitable distribution of the fruits of trade, with particular regard to the needs of the poor. However, critics see the WTO as a mercantilist system tailored to the commercial interests of wealthy nations and their corporations, with little or no attention to the interests of the poor. What happens to agriculture affects the poor disproportionately. If spurring economic development and thereby enhancing the living standards of people is indeed the WTO’s goal, no sector seems more significant to the accomplishment of that mission than agriculture. Hence, probing the fairness of agricultural trade provides a special insight with which to judge whether the WTO is true to its word, and conversely, to evaluate the validity of criticism directed against the trading regime. That is the aim of this article. It examines the WTO agricultural trade regime and concludes that the fact that agricultural trade remains the most protected and distorted sector, despite its unrivaled significance to development, is hardly a characteristic of a pro-development trading system.
Yigzaw, Destaw A.
"WTO Agricultural Trade and the Unfulfilled Promise of Development,"
South Carolina Journal of International Law and Business: Vol. 11
, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholarcommons.sc.edu/scjilb/vol11/iss2/6