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With the expansion of its scope, the WTO is having a much greater impact on governments, industries and NGOs. While the GATT was a fairly obscure organization known mostly to trade professionals, government officials, and diplomats, it is no surprise therefore that the WTO has garnered considerably more attention. The legal profession has been paying more attention too; the practice of WTO law has now come into its own. One illustration is the admittance of outside counsel to plead on behalf of member governments in WTO litigation (which was not accepted by most governments in the days of the GATT).
Various observers of the WTO have written express their views and experiences with the work of the organization: politicians, diplomats, industry federations, labor unions, consumer groups, academics, etc. Practicing lawyers have their own way of looking at the world. They are concerned with how agreements actually work, how unresolved issues can be effectively addressed, how agreements can be made to work better. With this volume we have tried to capture various perspectives our profession has to offer on the WTO’s activities. The various chapters are written mostly by members, former members and friends of our law firm, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, who have been active for several decades in GATT and WTO affairs.