The economic crisis has sparked fears about emerging protectionism and created wide interest in initiatives to monitor trade policies. The WTO regularly examines its members' trade policies - but its reports tend to be superficial and uncritical. How could they be improved to become a more powerful tool for trade liberalization? This paper argues that trade policy reviews (TPRs) should be resolutely aimed at shaping domestic politics. They should help domestic constituents to compare trade policies across time and countries. Furthermore, they should reveal the economy-wide costs of protectionism and identify winners and losers on a sectoral basis. Besides, the process of how TPRs are prepared, discussed, and disseminated should be improved. The drafting of the Secretariat's report should be more transparent and allow for greater stakeholder participation, the TPRs should be presented and debated in the country under review.
transparency WTO reform political economy global governance