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Life Without the WTO – Part II: Looking to the Everyday

Editors' Note: This is the second post of a two part series by EJIL:Talk Contributing Editor Michael Fakhri. Part I can be found here. In this second post I want to provide two examples of how life might look like without the WTO. One could do this in a myriad of ways and my purpose is to encourage more thinking along these terms and not to define that debate (well, not yet at least). Let’s see what the world looks like when we highlight the everyday practices of procuring food and doing business: If a central tenet of the WTO is trade liberalization, the Agreement of Agriculture has always been a failure no matter what your definition of liberalization is. Developing countries had, either through the coercion of IMF structural adjustment programs or unilaterally with the aid of World Bank programs, already implemented a small revolution and liberalized their agricultural sectors before 1994. By the late 1980s, they were export-oriented and did little to protect (i.e. support) domestic agricultural…

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Life Without the WTO – Part I: Stop all this Crisis-Talk

Editors’ Note: This is the first part of two posts by EJIL:Talk! Contributing Editor Michael Fakhri. We hear a lot today about the WTO being in crisis. Some people have focused on institutional changes are imagining life without the DSU if it is not reformed. Others are proposing that the WTO consider…

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