Unlike other international organizations, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has not passed measures that directly address transnational bribery. This is the case despite the fact that transnational bribery significantly harms international trade. Almost 20 years ago, then-U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor described corruption as a “barrier to trade” and advocated more action on corruption through the WTO system. Although those proposals went nowhere at the time, prominent scholars continue to make a strong case in favor of using the WTO to directly address matters of bribery and corruption, either by passing provisions that directly outlaw bribery or requiring WTO Member States to sign a declaration against corruption.
Should the WTO Outlaw Transnational Bribery?