A fundamental question to be decided at the November/December 1999 World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting is whether to support or resist a new round of trade negotiations. The author argues that while many developing countries, and development NGOs, are right to feel that the earlier Uruguay round produced results skewed in favour of developed countries, there is nothing to be gained from resisting a new round: rather, developing countries should signal their willingness to get involved, but only if certain conditions are met. `Constructive, but critical, support’ is the only way to realise benefits and avoid further marginalisation.
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