A two-member team from the World Trade Organization (WTO) arrives in Dominica over the weekend to begin a Trade Policy Review (TPR).
The areas under review are; the economic environment (structure of the economy, employment and output); trade and investment framework (foreign investment regime, preferential arrangements and agreements); trade policy and practices by measure (measures directly affecting exports and imports); trade policy by sector (agriculture, manufacturing, services).
The TPR was introduced into the WTO General Agreement on Tariff and Trade in 1989 following the mid -term review of the Uruguay round of negotiations.
It is now a permanent fixture in the WTO Multilateral Trade Arrangement called the WTO Trade Policy Review Mechanism. This is championed by the Trade Policy Review Division of the WTO.
The TPR ensures predictability and respect for trade rules which stands to benefit all traders. The frequency of the review is contingent on the member state’s share of world trade. The four biggest traders, including the United States and the European Union, undergo a TPR every two years, the sixteen developed countries every four years and the rest of the developing WTO member states including includes the OECS, every six years.
The WTO is the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.