Russia’s Accession to the WTO, Almost — It’s Long Overdue.


With the EU’s favorable action this week and Moscow’s announcement of its plan to join the Information Technology Agreement, the Russian Federation’s accession to the WTO has moved forward significantly. It’s almost completed. Only the opposition of Georgia seems to be holding it up.
Russia’s membership in the WTO is long overdue. The integration of Russian Federation into the global economy is essential. The WTO is the only major multilateral organization that really works. Its goal is the creation of a rule-based trading system and its dispute-resolution system is extraordinarily effective.
 Global trade has expanded exponentially since the organization’s founding in 1995. The underlying premise of the WTO is that, as a rule-based system developed to govern global trade, it will help foster rules and institutions within the civil society of member states, making them more democratic and wed to the free market. This system is the critical link between global trade, economic prosperity and political development — as envisioned by the United States as the principal architect of the WTO.
Russia’s membership in the WTO is in the interest of the EU, the U.S. and the global trading system.

About Stuart Malawer

Distinguished Service Professor of Law & International Trade at George Mason University (Schar School of Public Policy).
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