Industrial Policy and the WTO

The aim of this paper is to review the objectives and instruments of industrial policy in a changing global context and multilateral rules and discipline. The remainder of this paper is divided into four sections. In the next section an analytical review is undertaken of the objective of, and justification for, industrial policy pursued by countries. The importance of having an analytical framework is that it becomes the benchmark against which objectives, instruments and outcomes can be measured. In the third section the use of different instruments for industrial policy is reviewed. An attempt is made to assess whether changes have been due to compliance with multilateral and/or regional commitments, or due to unilateral reform efforts. This section also discusses whether new non-traditional instruments to pursue protection were needed once the use of traditional instruments became restricted. The fourth section focuses on the role of industrial policy in the post-Uruguay Round era with a view to the next round of WTO negotiations. It examines both the theoretical and the applied aspects of industrial policy before surveying the extent to which existing WTO rules affect a member's ability to pursue industrial policy objectives. The possibilities and implications of revising rules that affect the use of industrial policy instruments are discussed in the fifth section.

  • Authors: Bijit Bora, Peter J. Lloyd and Mari Pangestu
  • Year: 2000
  • Organisation: UNCTAD
  • Publisher: United Nations Publication
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