Problem

Preoccupation with reciprocity in trading relations

Other Names:
Narrow egalitarian application of trade measures
Nature:
Mutual reciprocity is a principle under which multilateral trade negotiations in GATT should be conducted such that the different parties in a trade relationship benefit best by regulations that force each party to give in goods or benefits as much as they get back, so that all may benefit equally. The principle was adopted for essentially political and legal reasons although it is not an obligation of the trading system. This concept of multilateral reciprocity has been undermined by a growing preoccupation with reciprocity in a narrow, even bilateral, sense which has further hampered the ability of the international trading community to take concerted action in the perspective of overall trade and economic benefits and common goals rather than in terms of concessions to be made in a particular negotiation. It has thus impeded coordinated flexible responses to new situations.
Claim:
Emphasis on narrow concepts of reciprocity may be a product of a more intensely competitive trading world, but it clearly detracts from the possibility of devising global solutions to global problems.
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Subject(s):
Action Application
Commerce Trade
Date of last update
01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET