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14 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 335 (1993-1994)
Reflections on the International Trade Organization

handle is hein.journals/niulr14 and id is 349 raw text is: Reflections on the International Trade
Organization
WILLIAM DIEBOLD*
This article will attempt to give informal and sketchy answers to
the three following questions:
1. What made the International Trade Organization (ITO)
different from the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT),
or anything else, before or since?
2. Is there anything new to say about why it failed?
3. Where might we be in international trade policy if we had
the ITO?
I. THE QUIDDITY
Before we single out the differences between the ITO and GATT,
we should recall what they had in common.
Both came out of the process carried on during and right after
the Second World War of constructing a multilateral, liberal, open,
world economy. As others have already said, it was common at the
time to speak of the ITO as the third leg of the Bretton Woods
stool. We thought we could demonstrate that the whole financial
and monetary mechanism already agreed to at Bretton Woods wouldn't
work if we did not have an arrangement for trade of the sort that
would have been provided by the ITO and the Havana Charter of
1947-or something very like it. Obviously, we were wrong.
GATT and the ITO were alike in reflecting the view of those
who had studied the interwar experience that international agreements
concerning trade should embody concrete, workable, commitments.
There should be no repetition of the League of Nations experience of
trade conferences that produced fine statements of principle that were
not adhered to.
At the same time, principles were important-very important.
Both GATT and the ITO embodied the same principles: multilater-
alism; reciprocity; equal treatment; provisions for negotiations to
reduce tariffs and other trade barriers; and the creation of intergov-
* Senior Fellow Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations. This article is a
revised manuscript of a speech given on October 1, 1993 at the International Trade
Conference at the Northern Illinois University College of Law in DeKalb, Illinois.

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