An analysis is made of the role of the WTO (World Trade Organization) as a forum for negotiations. Special attention is given to the concept of reciprocity, since this is a central element of multilateral trade negotiations (MTNs). The chapter centres on the problems that confront negotiators seeking to obtain agreements, the techniques that are used, and the reasons MTNs tend to have outcomes that do not maximize national welfare. The sections of the chapter are as follows: Overview of negotiating rounds [held since 1948, when GATT was founded]; Multilateral trade liberalization; Interest groups and lobbying activity; Reciprocity and the mechanics of negotiations; and A typology of key aspects of trade negotiations.
Keywords: agreements, GATT, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, interest groups, MTNs, multilateral trade liberalization, multilateral trade negotiations, national welfare, negotiating rounds, negotiating techniques, negotiation, reciprocity, trade negotiations, World Trade Organization, WTO
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