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The World Trade Organization ('WTO' or the 'Organization') is premised upon increasing prosperity by opening markets to greater trade flows. Although the goals of the Organization include enhancing development and reducing poverty, thus far the WTO has had difficulty bridging the gap between its trade expansion focus – exemplified by members’ substantive commitments to provide greater access to their markets – and its desire to promote development – largely framed in aspirational, nonbinding terms. This article explains why current measures to assist developing countries ('DCs') are not a complete solution to the trade and development disconnect. It further proposes using the concept of Kaldor-Hicks efficiency as the basis for a framework under which the WTO’s trade and development aims could be pursued in a more integrated fashion by adopting a direct or indirect compensation mechanism.

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Georgetown Journal of International Law

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