Costs and Benefits of Special and Differential treatment for developing countries in GATT/WTO: An African perspective

"It is not necessarily self-evident that income transfers should be made through S&D treatment; other mechanisms that may be more efficient could be available. Second, it is worth examining whether S&D treatment provides appropriate incentives for developing and least developed countries to pursue policies that do in fact more rationally promote their development. It is in this context that the question of whether S&D treatment for developing countries has yielded much benefit in concrete terms becomes pertinent. This paper focuses on many of the issues and questions raised above, and does so specifically from the perspectives of African countries—against the background of the special features of their economies, their trade policy and development experience, and their experience within the global trading system. In the process, Section 2 traces the origins and tracks the evolution of S&D treatment for developing countries in the GATT/WTO framework and indicates its current status after the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations. Sections 3 and 4 deal, respectively, with the benefits and costs of various elements of S&D treatment and Section 5 concludes the paper."