Policy space: Are WTO rules preventing development?

Briefing papers
January 2007
Sheila Page

This paper investigates whether WTO rules restrict developing country 'policy space' by limiting their development policies. It finds that developing countries need 'policy space' to use policy to promote development, but international ruleslimit it. The principal areas where trade agreements do or may restrict countries are tariffs, TRIPs, and investment. It concludes that while some ‘space’ has been closed, much remains, and space can cause problems as well as create opportunities.

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