The Hard Path to Universal Membership
The WTO introduced a new set of rules for membership that attempted to promote and improve the discipline among members since this was needed to accomplish market access obligations. Also, WTO intended to attain universal membership. Working on these two goals brought about a lot of tension, thus this chapter aims to look into the political economy of the WTO accession process, especially on the first twenty-five new members to accede, and on their accession terms. The chapter compares the trends in membership of both the GATT and the WTO while also identifying the benefits attributed to members of these organizations. The chapter also looks into the GATT rules of accession and why these were modified in the WTO. The chapter also investigates on how long it takes to finish an accession agreement through a set of regression analyses while discussing the impact of WTO members' activity and bargaining power.
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