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Tim Brightbill Discusses WTO Rules On Developing Countries

Law360
January 22, 2019

Timothy C. Brightbill, partner in Wiley Rein’s International Trade Practice, was quoted in a Law360 article about a recently published paper in which the United States called out the World Trade Organization (WTO) for its rules allowing preferential treatment of countries such as China and India.

While the rules allowing member states to claim developing status made sense when the WTO was created in 1995, the approach no longer works, the U.S. paper stated, according to Law360. The paper noted that China, India, and other countries have since achieved significant social and economic growth, yet both are still taking advantage of WTO rules that allow nations to be “self-declared” developing countries, Law360 reported. 

Responding to the U.S. published paper, Mr. Brightbill said it was “absolutely correct and long overdue.” He added that China and India should not be allowed to identify themselves as developing nations at the WTO.

“If WTO members are allowed to call themselves ‘developing,’ then the term loses all meaning — and the preferential treatment provided is weakened for those members that truly are developing or less developed,” said Mr. Brightbill. “This is one of the many areas that must be addressed as part of comprehensive reform of the WTO.”

The article can be found here (subscription required).