Sam Laird is Special Professor of International Economics, University of Nottingham, Visiting Professor at the Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa (TRAPCA), Arusha, and a former associate of the Trade Policies Review Division. (vii) These documents shall be transmitted to and noted by the Ministerial Conference. The trade policy review mechanism was an early outcome of the Uruguay Round and was provisionally put in place during the mid-term review of the Montreal Round in December 1988. Annex 3 of the Marrakesh Agreement, on which Ministers agreed in April 1994, established the MPR as one of the core functions of the WTO on a permanent basis and, with the entry into force of the WTO in 1995, the mandate of the MPI was extended to trade in services and intellectual property. On 12 April 1989, the GATT Council announced that the TPRM would be implemented without delay, albeit provisionally. The impact of each member on the functioning of the multilateral trading system, defined by its share in world trade over a recent representative period, will be the determining factor in deciding on the frequency of verifications. The first four business units thus identified (including the European Communities as one) are reviewed every two years. The next 16 will be reviewed every four years. The other members shall be reviewed every six years, with the exception of the fixing of a longer period for members of the least developed countries.
It is recognized that the review of institutions with a common foreign policy covering more than one Member covers all components of policy affecting trade, including the relevant policies and practices of each Member. Exceptionally, in the event of a change in a Member`s trade policy or practice that is likely to have a significant impact on its trading partners, the TPRB may, after consultation, be invited to bring forward its next revision. Explore or download the text of the Trade Policy Review Mechanism of the Legal Texts Portal When drafting its report, the secretariat seeks the cooperation of the member, but is solely responsible for the facts presented and the opinions expressed. The TPRB also provides an annual overview of the changing international trading environment affecting the multilateral trading system. The overview will be supported by an annual report by the Director-General, which outlines the main activities of the WTO and focuses on important policy issues concerning the trading system. . . .