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Protectionism: Threat to International Order

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

image of Protectionism: Threat to International Order
‘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.

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The Extent of Protection

This chapter examines the nature and intensity of protection as currently applied by the major developed countries. It begins with the primary products which are of basic importance to the economies of many developing countries, particularly the poorer ones, and some developed countries; the focus is primarily upon agricultural products, where the barriers impeding the trade and the development of exporting countries, many of them non-tariff, are greatest. For fuels and minerals in unprocessed form, tariffs are of minor importance, and where other barriers exist, they derive from special conditions of trade in these products.

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