The Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, concluded in 1994, was eighth in a series of post-1945 multilateral trade negotiations; it was the most significant round since the 1940s and the most comprehensive ever. It both deepened and extended, especially to services, the rules governing international trade, and it created the World Trade Organization to oversee the rules and manage disputes among nations.
Former diplomat Preeg details the history of the Uruguay negotiations from the end of the Tokyo Round in 1979 to the creation of the WTO in early 1995. He focuses both on substantive content, of which he has an exceptional grasp, and on the key personalities involved. The bulk of the discussion is narrative, with several exciting cliff-hangers that left the conclusion in doubt until the very end. Preeg makes little reference to currently popular negotiating theory, but he embeds his treatment in the broader evolution of patterns of world trade. He gives the round a generally favorable appraisal and outlines the still-unfinished business of building an up-to-date international trading system. On its "conclusion,"the Uruguay Round left a continuing agenda.