The WTO has outlived its usefulness as a setting for trade negotiations. It can still be a good place to resolve disputes (though this can take years) and share ideas, but most countries would be better off choosing their own trading partners and lowering trade barriers at their own pace.
As developing countries became bigger traders, it was clear that the old way of doing business wouldn't fly. To get them back to the bargaining table, the wealthy countries had to offer something more: a new round of talks that would use trade as a tool to help developing countries grow.
Rich countries want unfettered access to poor countries' markets, which are often heavily protected by tariffs, but they don't want to give up all the protections for their own goods and services.
Diverse groups of countries can do a lot by trading amongst themselves, exploiting differences in costs, resources, and technologies.
Pretty soon, we should see a few large regional blocs dominating global trade. The ones that lower trade barriers faster will grow faster...
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