Document Type : Scientific - Research


1 Assistant professors, materials and energy research center(MERC)

2 Institute of Standards and Industrial Research


The trade policy review mechanisms purpose is to improve transparency, to create a greater understanding of the policies that countries are adopting, and to assess their impact. GATT and the WTO have helped to create a strong and prosperous trading system contributing to unprecedented growth. The WTO agreements are the result of negotiations among the members. Through these agreements, WTO members operate a non-discriminatory trading system that spells out their rights and their obligations. Each country receives guarantees that its exports will be treated fairly and consistently in other countries to do the same for imports into its own market. WTO also gives developing countries some flexibility in implementing their commitments. It encourages countries to settle their differences through consultation. Failing that, they can follow a carefully mapped out, stage-by-stage procedure that includes the possibility of a ruling by a panel of experts, and the chance to appeal the ruling on legal grounds. Trade friction is channeled into the WTO dispute settlement process where the focus is on interpreting agreements and commitments, and how to ensure that countries trade policies conform to them. That way, the risk of disputes spilling over into political or military conflict is reduced. By lowering trade barriers, the WTO system also breaks down other barriers among peoples and nations. Over three quarters of WTO members are developing or least-developed countries. All WTO agreements contain special provision for them, including longer time periods to implement agreements and commitments, measures to increase their trading opportunities, provisions requiring all WTO members to safeguard their trade interest, and support to help them build the infrastructure for WTO work, handle disputes, and implement technical standards.