Protectionism: Threat to International Order

The Impact on Developing Countries, Report by a Group of Experts

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‘A major element in a sustainable international trading system is a fair and equitable place for the developing countries. We have sought through to identify their particular stake in the future trading arrangements. In translating the more distant objectives and aspirations into the details of immediate policies it is easy either to look wildly unrealistic or, at the other extreme, to seem overcautious. We have tried to steer a middle course.’ - From the Report.

‘The expansion of world trade, which has slowed down considerably in recent years, has not come to a halt. Unless special efforts are made, external trade is now not in a position to play its customary role as an engine of growth. With domestic demand depressed in many developed countries, recovery remains uncertain. It is against this sombre background that the Commonwealth Expert Group... has pointed the way ahead... in an area where there is a strong mutuality of interest between North and South.’ - From the Foreword by Commonwealth Secretary-General Shridath Ramphal.



Preferential and Other Special Arrangements

No consideration of the extent and forms of protection would be complete without reference to the preferential and other special arrangements existing in individual markets, in favour of exports from developing countries. The most noteworthy of these are the various schemes introduced under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which apply in principle to all developing countries, and the Lomé Convention which, with some exceptions and limitations, gives duty-free and quota-free trade access to the EEC for African, Caribbean and Pacific member countries (ACP). These arrangements replaced earlier preferences received by many countries from developed countries with which they had historical links; along with newer elements, they are applied to broader groups of both preference-giving and preference-receiving countries.


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