This paper investigates the extent to which recent progress in reducing impediments and distortions to trade has levelled the playing field for developing country exports. It finds that the competitive situation remains severely distorted by high protection rates in developed countries to domestic producers in agriculture, consumer goods and other industries. Other instruments to reduce competition from developing country exports such as budget subsidies and enforcement of anti-competitive practices were also identified. The key sector of concern for developing countries is the agriculture industry which accounts for 60 per cent of budget and price transfers in OECD countries. The paper also emphasizes that even if developing countries enjoyed favorable market access for their products, the unequal competitive strength of their firms should not be overlooked during multilateral trade negotiations.