Participation in the World Trading System is generally considered to bring substantial benefits. However, the developments of the Doha Round show, that the multilateral trade negotiations are progressing at an unprecedentedly slow pace accompanied by constant setbacks. This resistance towards stronger multilateral economic integration may at first appear not very plausible.
This article sets out to look for the causes of these difficulties. From that base, it describes the ways that WTO Member States are seeking different strategies for economic integration on the bilateral, regional and inter-regional levels. The perspectives for the future of the World Trading System and multilateralism are discussed.Global Trade and Customs Journal