chapter  7
24 Pages


This study has revealed that contrary to some portrayals of the OECD as a place where like-minded parties collaborate harmoniously to produce fairly inconsequential statements, trade negotiations conducted in the OECD were often arduous and protracted, with the interests and perspectives of participating countries at times clashing strongly. The agreements which frequently resulted from these negotiations were of considerable significance to participants, while failures to reach agreement were the source of profound disappointment for some parties. Moreover, OECD talks were used as an instrument of foreign policy by certain member countries attempting to alter the behaviour of other countries.1 Hence, it is entirely appropriate to ask who gained the most from these trade negotiations, and why. Because of the effort that went into crafting OECD agreements, and given the importance of the sectors examined, it is also desirable to ask what impact these agreements had on the trade-related policies and practices of OECD member countries, and why. This latter question is particularly important to the study of international relations because of the relative dearth of systematic evaluations of the impact of international regimes on state behaviour.