On October 25 and 27, 2022 Barbados will undergo its fourth trade policy review at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Trade Policy Reviews are part of the WTO’s trade policy review mechanism whereby all WTO members’ trade policies and practices are periodically reviewed. A country’s share in world trade is the determining factor for the frequency of its reviews. Barbados’ three previous trade policy reviews were in 2002, 2008 and 2014. These reviews are a critical part of the WTO’s transparency function.
WTO members, meeting as the Trade Policy Review Body on October 25 and 27, will review two documents: the WTO Secretariat’s Report and the report from the Government of Barbados. During the meeting, Members will have the opportunity to raise questions and seek clarity from the Barbados delegation on various issues relating to the country’s trade policies and practices. The rules of procedure for the TPRB can be accessed here.
The TPR reports are made publicly available and are a rich source of information for trade analysts and potential investors of a country’s trade policies and its general trading and macroeconomic environment. The TPRB chairperson’s concluding remarks are released shortly after. The minutes of the meeting, as well as members questions, are also released about six weeks after the conclusion of the review.
With regard to other CARICOM Member States up for review this year, Guyana had its most recent trade policy review in March and the Dominican Republic’s latest will be in December.
Alicia Nicholls, B.Sc., M.Sc, LL.B. is an international trade specialist and founder of the Caribbean Trade Law and Development blog http://www.caribbeantradelaw.com.
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