The question of non-trade issues in the WTO from a developing country perspective
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Many developed countries have proposed enlarging the mandate of the WTO to protect the environment and labor rights. The idea was fiercely challenged by third-world countries becoming an unsurpassable obstacle in the negotiations. For supporters of a stronger WTO, the TRIPS Agreement is a good example that underscores the need to back up the trading system to enforce standards. This analysis attempts to demonstrate that there are less controversial alternatives to achieve environmental and social goals. The different nature of IPR and labor rights makes the TRIPS Agreement a weak example to prove the goodness of enforcing standards through the WTO. Moreover, certain gaps in this Agreement provide developing countries wit enough reasons to believe that a broader WTO scope would serve to disguise protectionist measures. Overarching the WTO members with obligations other than those which led their incorporation would be an encroachment of national sovereignty. However, since trade affects other areas of international law grater coherence is necessary.