In This Review

Developing Countries in the WTO
Developing Countries in the WTO
By Constantine Michalopoulos
Palgrave, 2002, 278 pp

One of many ironies in the antiglobalization movement is that while protests against the World Trade Organization have mounted in the name of poverty and development, developing countries have been voluntarily joining the WTO in large numbers. As recently as 1982, the WTO's predecessor had only 88 signatories. Today the organization has 144 members and another 20 applicants. The claim that the international trading system and its rules are stacked against poor countries is unwarranted. That said, some American and European trade practices do create difficulties for particular exports from developing countries. This book was completed before the WTO's decision in late 2001 to launch a ninth round of multilateral trade negotiations. But it offers a balanced and informative account of the relationship between developing countries and the current international trade regime, inaugurated in 1947. Offering advice to developing nations ahead of a new multilateral round, Michalopoulos acknowledges both the contribution that trade can make to economic development and the interests of developing countries in the evolving international trading system.