Therefore, from the perspective of the developing countries, the WTO experience was not positive. In fact the modest concessions that were given in the textile and agriculture areas, during the Uruguay Round, were not enough to guarantee their natural competitiveness, as they were carefully made to maintain the advantages of the developed countries. The inclusion of new areas in the multilateral trade system permitted the developed countries to have access to the developing markets, but it did not permit the same access to the markets of those countries, which are closed by horizontal measures. The treaty about Investments Measures related to trade (TRIMS) cease to examine the scandalous complicity of the developed countries out of concern for fiscal frauds and capital flight in developing countries. The Antidumping Treaty, lousy and cowardly, allowed the U.S.A. to maintain in its malicious domestic legislation equity and the basic principles of international Law.

Meanwhile, the Treaty of Intellectual Property Rights related to Trade (TRIPS) subordinated the national authorities of the developing countries to the authorities of developed countries according to the concept of “pipeline” protection. The Treaty about the Rules of Origin permits the institutionalised protectionism in areas of free trade and its use to deviate the traditional flow of trade. As in the case of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it resulted in the increase of the commercial dependence of Mexico on the United States and a devastating effect on the Caribbean. The Agreement of Subsidies is neither just or nor equitable to developing countries, putting India, South Africa and Brazil on the same level as countries such as France and Switzerland. Increasingly, attitudes which are very damaging to developing countries such as financial and technological dumping, largely used to guarantee control of the market, were not examined.[1]

Even the dispute resolution system, which harboured so much hope, was frustrating in the years of WTO´s functioning. Many of the problems derive from the lack of suitable rules of procedure, which jeopardises the legality of the system. [2]
The system is imperfect within the scope of proper legal terminology and, within its scope it tragically omits of certain basic legal institutions such as reconvention and joinder of parties. The first institutional omission implies that an arbitration panel for the original request is constituted, and another for the reconvention, with different arbitrators, even if the parties are the same and the object is connected, such as in the recent aeronautic issue between Brazil and Canada. This situation implies the tangible possibility that the decisions of two, three or four panels may be diverse as to the same legal issue.

Another failure in the system comes the impossibility of the preliminary allegations, such as the issue of the conflicts between treaties, which became relevant in arbitration panels which decided recent cases of concern to Brazil and India. In the same way, the dispute resolution system of the WTO offends for its lack of transparency. Its legal division defines the terms of reference, or litigious object, and provides a mandatory advisory group to the panels as well as to the appeal level, since neither has its own managing structure. The juridical division of the secretariat of the WTO has a greatly ethnocentric composition, controlled by the major national powers. The WTO in an apparent violation of the most basic principles of governance, including those recommended by OECD, has been refusing, in writing, to provide the nationality of the members of its legal division, which seriously impairs its credibility and its services.

This number of wrongs, imperfections and distortions make WTO´s system of dispute resolution suffer many extravagances and strange peculiarities, some of which I had the opportunity to list in my most recent book. To them we can now add the decision of the panel in the case of USA versus Australia [3]
concerning the banks of leather, where it was decided to convict a private company, outside the WTO´s competence, to return subsidies. Its tragicomic character would have been lighter if this system has not been decided, in the great majority of the cases, against developing countries, when they were in dispute with developed countries.

From 31 decided cases an appeal at the WTO [4]
, 18 were important to disputes between developing countries and developed ones. Of those, 13 were won by developed countries, more than two thirds, and just four by developing countries, and two of them were refused to be implemented. Brazil was the champion of defeats, losing a suit in four panels which were directly involved with developed countries, followed by India with three defeats and no victory; Korea with two defeats and one victory; Argentine with two defeats and no victory. All in all, some of those defeats represent attempts to change the treaties to damage the legal order and the interests of developing countries. [5]

All these imperfections and omissions, over the economic crisis supported by the majority of world inhabitants, were not enough to correct the direction which the WTO was taking in the mechanism of revision that has already been predicted in treaties of the Uruguay round. The EU and USA intended, through the placement of a new round of negotiations of the multilateral system, that is supposed to be called the “Clinton round” or millennium round. In this new round, the object was the increase of advantages for developed countries. This extravagant designation implied a loss of credibility of the WTO in international public opinion, which is constituted, in the great majority, by unemployed, miserable people, excluded of affluence artificially induced in a few countries.

The Chancellor of Argentina, Mr. Adalberto Rodrigues Giavirini, summed up the position of all the developing countries very well in recent declarations: “We made a great effort to reach globalisation. We had a series of sacrifices with privatisation, economic opening up which did not result in what was said that it would result. Our unemployment is high, our exclusion of commerce is very strong, our growth rate decreased sharply due to the agricultural subsidies of the developed countries.” [6]

Inside this sad frame, it is very important that the WTO must not be the world-wide government according to the treaties of regency. Recently, the WTO general-director, Mr. Mike Moore, with credibility affected negatively by the process of his election and his positions in the ambit of the installation of what would be the Millennium Round, declared that “the WTO is not supra-national government and it does not have the intention to become one [7]
. “Notwithstanding such a declaration, it resulted that the main powers searching to use the WTO as a channel of the globalised application of its standards, criteria, rules and worth, to ensure its greater commercial competitiveness. These criteria are evidently subjective, self-seeking and, frequently, hegemonic. These countries equally search a mechanism of penalty, with a certain legality, even attractive and, sometimes bizarre, to impose its will on third parties.

Since the United States does not want to give up the power of veto, it can not be conceive the change of the consensual decision making system that implies unanimity, as we had seen at the beginning of the presentation. Now, in this manner it is gradually searching, as far as is possible, up to a certain point, to gradually dislocate the power of ordering matters to the dispute resolution system, which is controlled by the developing countries and with the transparency of the Tietê River. However, this is a question that depends on a new treaty. [8]

Lastly, we cannot forget that the WTO, as well as GATT, must be used to promote the general prosperity of all people, and not of a few ones only. It is with this objective where the value of its concept and its potential of benefits lie. The system must permit and promote the distribution of world-wide prosperity, without which it will not be more than an efficient substitute for an embrasure.