From December 9 to 13, 1996 the first Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was held in Singapore. Two years after the foundation of the WTO and one year after GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) it seems as if the idea of free trade has finally overcome all national resentments. And indeed, since the foundation of GATT after the Second World War there is a quiet impressive statistic undermining this optimism. Successive rounds of trade liberalization achieved under the Dillon Round (1960–1961), the Kennedy Round (1964–1967), the Tokyo Round (1974–1977) and the Uruguay Round (1986–1993) led to a strong growth in international trade and thus contributed to growth in real gross domestic product in participating countries. Furthermore, the number of countries joining GATT also strongly increased in the meantime.