Some free trade purists have criticized the aggressive use of the WTO dispute settlement system. However, the Clinton administration deliberately adopted a policy of using international law mechanisms to reaffirm the primacy of the multilateral system and to show domestic political critics that the United States could use the new system to advance its interests. This strategy was attacked by Congress and national interests, when the United States won cases at the WTO to find its trading partners, and in particular the EU, which opted for retaliatory measures instead of making changes to the controversial provisions. For its part, the United States has established a record of compliance with negative WTO decisions, but this may prove more difficult in the coming months. From a foreign policy point of view, this policy was a clear victory. They have profoundly changed relations with Mexico and put in place an economic framework that will determine relations for years to come and serve as the basis for a union-wide trade and investment system. But the fight for NAFTA and the sharp deterioration in trade balances after the peso crisis triggered a powerful coalition of trade opponents and provoked a violent counter-reaction to trade that, perhaps more than any other factor, helped overcome speed in 1997 and undermine trade negotiations in Seattle in 2000. The GATT was negotiated in 1947 by 23 countries and was to be a temporary stopover until a more robust organization was established. But this next step took decades before the GATT, between 1948 and 1995, beed the only multilateral agreement for international trade. Over the past 47 years, an increasing number of Member States have met eight times in so-called collective bargaining.
By the end of the Uruguay Round, the last meeting of the gatt, average world tariffs had fallen from about 20% in 1947 to less than 9% in 1994. In 2015, developed and developing countries failed to agree on these and other sensitive issues, and the Doha negotiations failed. The trade dynamics within the EU are currently pushing them to deepen globalisation through comprehensive bilateral trade agreements, which establish wide-scale rules for bilateral trade relations. The European Commission has defended these agreements as an instrument to promote world trade, in line with European values and standards. However, the theory of fiscal federalism and the principle of subsidiarity tell us that decisions should not be centralized at the supranational level, which are better taken at the national or regional level when there are different preferences between countries or regions. Therefore, the competences of Member States and regions should not be seen as a mere obstacle to rapid trade agreements. On the contrary, they can play an important role in monitoring the question of whether EU trade policy is actually working towards the implementation of globalisation to European values and preferences. It must be clear that the EU free trade agreements will not reduce EU health, safety and environmental standards, and the precautionary principle is maintained.
Finally, it is worth briefly mentioning how trade policy was coordinated within the Clinton administration. President Clinton took office with the goal of strengthening international economic policy through the creation of a new coordinating body in the White House. Despite numerous lawn battles, variations in management styles and structures, and limited resources, the National Economic Council has developed a viable and effective model for integrating competing considerations that go into international economic policy and coordinating the various institutional actors.