The Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) is the instrument of transparency of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It was founded at the Montreal Mid-Term Review of the Round in December 1988 to adhere the inherent value of domestic transparency of government decision making in the multilateral trading system. It came into force of the WTO in 1995; the mandate of the TPRM was broadened to cover services trade and intellectual property.
Objectives of Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM)
1. It enables the regular collective appreciation and evaluation of the full range of individual Members’ trade policies and practices and their impact on the functioning of the multilateral trading system. It is not, however, intended to serve as a basis for the enforcement of specific obligations under the Agreements or for dispute settlement procedures, or to impose new policy commitments on Members.
2. The assessment carried out under the review mechanism takes place, to the extent relevant, against the background of the wider economic and developmental needs, policies and objectives of the Member concerned, as well as of its external environment.
Review Process of Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM)
The reviews parameter and frequency depends on the member’s share in world trade. The four largest traders like European Union, United States of America, China and Japan are reviewed every two years; next 16 largest traders like Australia are reviewed every two years and rest members are reviewed every six years. The review process includes:
1. A detailed report on the Member under review's trade policies and practices prepared by the WTO Secretariat;
2. A report by the government of the Member under review;
3. A written question and answer process, whereby the Member under review must respond to detailed questions from other Members regarding its trade policies and practices; and
4. A formal meeting in Geneva of the WTO Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB).
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