The GATT Uruguay round effects on developing countries

Books or book chapters
December 1991
Sheila Page, Michael Davenport, Adrian Hewitt

This study was undertaken and completed in the climate of uncertainty which has hung over the Uruguay Round from its inception in 1986. Almost a year after the original deadline, no one knew when the Uruguay Round would end, but governments, traders and producers in developing countries, and those interested in them, need to know the likely effects of an ultimate settlement.

Changes in trade policy towards and by developing countries have been central in the Uruguay Round. These effects are important not only directly, but because the outcome may influence developing countries' own attitudes to integration into the world economic and policy-making system.

The study uses evidence available up to October 1991. It assumes that a settlement covering all fifteen subjects initially included in the negotiations will be reached, in its major features, by late 1991 or early 1992, in time to be ratified and implemented from 1993.

The results give a gain of 3% of exports for developing countries as a whole based on static gains only (with alternative low and high estimates giving 1% and 6%). This seemingly modest increase may not seem to justify arguments that failure to reach a settlement would be a serious setback for the developing countries.