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Special and differential Treatment in the Millennium Round

John Whalley

CSGR Working Paper No. 30/99

May 1999

Abstract

This paper discusses special and differential treatment (SDT) for developing countries in a new WTO trade round. It argues that SDT introduced in the Uruguay Round represented a sharp departure from pre Uruguay Round SDT which had focussed on special rights to protect and preferential market access, and was characterised by a wide range of delays, exemptions, best efforts endeavours from developed countries, technical assistance and other provisions. These new provisions were arrived at late on in negotiation, and were ad hoc in design. They nonetheless represented a new form of SDT relating to special rights needed on adjustment and policy capacity grounds as developing countries integrated into the WTO system. Despite general skepticism as to the value of SDT benefits, the challenge is to more carefully rationalise and target these provisions, and to elaborate on them.

Keywords: Millennium Round, Developing Country, World Trade Organisation (WTO), Special and Differential Treatment (SDT).

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