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By Constantine Michalopoulos (auth.)

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First, access to developed- 30 Developing Countries in the WTO country markets was far more dif®cult than one might suspect given the existence of the GSP and the extensive reductions on tariffs on manufactures negotiated in previous GATT rounds. Second, just as the developing countries appeared to have successfully secured a set of trading rules that would be bene®cial to their development, the intellectual underpinnings of these rules started to be extensively questioned. There were many serious problems with market access.

It was felt that liberal trade policies would stymie the development of infant industries, while their continued dependence on primary commodity and raw material exports would result in volatile export earnings and deteriorating terms of trade (Prebisch, 1950; Singer, 1950). Moreover it was thought that the development process was inherently associated with balance of payments dif®culties, which could be addressed in the short term through trade controls. The trade strategy that emerged from this thinking and was practiced by most developing countries at the time had three main strands: (1) the promotion of industrialization through import substitution with protective tariff and non-tariff barriers; (2) the promotion of manufactured exports in order to diversify the export structure, in part through export subsidies, which were perceived as necessary to offset the advantages enjoyed by established developed-country producers; and (3) the use of trade controls in response to actual or potential balance of payments dif®culties.

In 196l GATT adopted a declaration on the promotion of trade of less developed countries, which inter alia called for preferential market access for developing countries not covered by the preferential tariff systems (such as the Commonwealth preferences) or by preferences in customs unions or free trade areas, which were subsequently established. This was the ®rst mention of what would later become the generalized system of preferences (GSP) for developing countries. 26 Developing Countries in the WTO In 1964 GATT adopted a speci®c legal framework within which the concerns of developing countries could be addressed.

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