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The Southern African Development Community Trade Legal Instruments Compliance with Certain Criteria of GATT Article XXIV
A Saurombe
Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal/Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad , 2011,
Abstract: Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) lays down the legal principles with which regional trade agreements have to conform. Based on these principles, WTO members have the mandate to determine the legality of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) under the GATT. Article XXIV permits both regional and bilateral preferential trade agreements leading to the formation of customs unions and free trade areas, and seeks to integrate them in the multilateral trading system envisioned for the world. SADC is an RTA created under this Article. Notwithstanding the controversies surrounding the provisions and interpretation of Article XXIV, this paper seeks to establish the extent to which the SADC Protocol on Trade and free trade area comply with WTO rules. An analysis of selected Article XXIV provisions and the SADC Trade Protocol provisions will be undertaken in trying to establish this compliance.
Southern African Development Community (SADC) trade legal instruments compliance with certain criteria of GATT Article XXIV1*
A Saurombe
Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal/Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad , 2011,
Abstract: Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) lays down the legal principles with which regional trade agreements have to conform. Based on these principles, WTO members have the mandate to determine the legality of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) under the GATT. Article XXIV permits both regional and bilateral preferential trade agreements leading to the formation of customs unions and free trade areas, and seeks to integrate them in the multilateral trading system envisioned for the world. SADC is an RTA created under this Article. Notwithstanding the controversies surrounding the provisions and interpretation of Article XXIV, this paper seeks to establish the extent to which the SADC Protocol on Trade and free trade area comply with WTO rules. An analysis of selected Article XXIV provisions and the SADC Trade Protocol provisions will be undertaken in trying to establish this compliance. KEYWORDS: SADC; GATT; WTO and regional trade agreements. http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/pelj.v14i4.10
The Regional Integration Agreements: A New Face of Protectionism  [cached]
Montej Abida
International Journal of Economics and Finance , 2013, DOI: 10.5539/ijef.v5n3p183
Abstract: The regional integration agreements can be a strategy of trade diversion and thus we can say that there is a violation of the rules of free trade. By creating preferential rules which are inconsistent with the principles of the WTO, the strategy of regional integration can increase the risk of trade disputes with third party countries and can therefore generate a commercial environment full of threats and reprisals. Third countries, especially developing countries have small markets, may find themselves marginalized further when the members of the regional group adopt the principle of discrimination. The philosophy of the WTO paves the way for a transition from regional integration towards a multilateral integration. The question that arises is whether regional integration agreements meet this conception of the WTO or they represent a new form of protectionism hindering free trade. We know that the regional groups hold private information about the actions and decisions they adopt in the intra-group. The uncertainty and hidden information can cause conflicts internationally. The WTO, we can assume as the Principal, should create incentives that can guide regional groups that can be assumed as Peripheral Agents, to comply with Article XXIV and the elimination of regional protectionism. Control actions and trade policies of regional groups should be done on a regular basis to make the game of international trade more fair.
The GATT and Its Implications on the Philippine Economy
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Kasarinlan : Philippine Journal of Third World Studies , 1994,
Abstract: In this position paper, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry believes that General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) member-countries definitely stand to benefit from the agreement resulting from the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations. The Philippines, in particular, stands to profit from a) concessions given by developed or highly industrialized countries in the form of tariff reductions for many of its agricultural products and b) preferential treatment because of the treaty’s Most Favored Nation component. Whatever losses the Philippines may suffer because of the latest GATT treaty are minimal and short-term. Even tourism is projected to receive a boost from the new treaty. The paper seeks to show that GATT is a necessary step for the standardization and simplification of multilateral trade, allowing its members to fully reap the benefits of a system based on comparative advantage. GATT should also be viewed as an indication of the direction that world trade is headed towards in the near future. If the Philippines does not fully comply with GATT’s requirements or implement measures that will allow it to compete in a liberalized global economy, it will not only find itself immediately at odds with its trading partners, but it will also find itself incapable of internally reforming its economic structures in order to attain sustainability. In this age of international trade liberalization, it is no longer economically sound to stand apart from the rest of the world.
SPECIAL SECTION: The GATT and Its Implications on the Philippine Economy
Kasarinlan : Philippine Journal of Third World Studies , 2009,
Abstract: In this position paper, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry believes that General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) member-countries definitely stand to benefit from the agreement resulting from the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations. The Philippines, in particular, stands to profit from a) concessions given by developed or highly industrialized countries in the form of tariff reductions for many of its agricultural products and b) preferential treatment because of the treaty’s Most Favored Nation component. Whatever losses the Philippines may suffer because of the latest GATT treaty are minimal and short-term. Even tourism is projected to receive a boost from the new treaty. The paper seeks to show that GATT is a necessary step for the standardization and simplification of multilateral trade,allowing its members to fully reap the benefits of a system based on comparative advantage. GATT should also be viewed as an indication of the direction that world trade is headed towards in the near future. If the Philippines does not fully comply with GATT’s requirements or implement measures that will allow it to compete in a liberalized global economy, it will not only find itself immediately at odds with its trading partners, but it will also find itself incapable of internally reforming its economic structures in order to attain sustainability. In this age of international trade liberalization, it is no longer economically sound to stand apart from the rest of the world.
Perspectives on the changing spirit of GATT  [PDF]
Norbert Weinrichter
European Integration Online Papers , 1999,
Abstract: Traditionally, the ECJ has treated the international legal framework of the external trade law of the Community with judicial self restraint. Especially the GATT was perceived as a forum for interstate negotiations driven by the spirit of intergovernmental reciprocity. Thus, the ECJ has concluded that the GATT should be protected from intrusion by national authorities and cannot be invoked directly before the court. However, in the context of new developments, GATT and WTO-law are increasingly seen differently: International trade rules can serve as a quasi-constitutional constraint on excessive national trade policy. Basic principles such as the Most Favored Nation clause, the principle of non-discrimination and the prohibition of quantitative restrictions are reinterpreted as protection of economic rights of individuals rather than as protection of interstate reciprocity. Application of GATT-rules by national authorities is thus essential for the effective implementation of the spirit of GATT to fight a potential bias in favor of protectionism. This article comments on the historic conditions and the development of this fundamental change in the perception of the spitit of the GATT and tries to assess its consequences.
Perspectives on the changing spirit of GATT  [cached]
Norbert Weinrichter
European Integration Online Papers , 1999,
Abstract: Traditionally, the ECJ has treated the international legal framework of the external trade law of the Community with judicial self restraint. Especially the GATT was perceived as a forum for interstate negotiations driven by the spirit of intergovernmental reciprocity. Thus, the ECJ has concluded that the GATT should be protected from intrusion by national authorities and cannot be invoked directly before the court. However, in the context of new developments, GATT and WTO-law are increasingly seen differently: International trade rules can serve as a quasi-constitutional constraint on excessive national trade policy. Basic principles such as the Most Favored Nation clause, the principle of non-discrimination and the prohibition of quantitative restrictions are reinterpreted as protection of economic rights of individuals rather than as protection of interstate reciprocity. Application of GATT-rules by national authorities is thus essential for the effective implementation of the spirit of GATT to fight a potential bias in favor of protectionism. This article comments on the historic conditions and the development of this fundamental change in the perception of the spitit of the GATT and tries to assess its consequences.
GATT Issues, Gut Issues  [cached]
Corinne A. Canlas
Kasarinlan : Philippine Journal of Third World Studies , 1994,
Abstract: The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) finds its theoretical foundation in the economic theory of comparative advantage, from which it draws the set of basic trading principles that it overtly upholds, namely, nondiscrimination, reciprocity, and transparency. In accordance with these principles, GATT sells itself as an agreement that will ensure fair trade through the rationalization of trade barriers and prevention of trade wars between its members. This paper counters such claims, showing how developing countries could suffer from the stipulations of the treaty emerging from the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations. The purported economic improvements in developing countries under the treaty are highly suspect. GATT makes developing countries vulnerable to potential exploitation by the dominators of the world market. Additionally, profit-driven transnational corporations successfully lobbied for their interests—against those of developing countries—in the GATT negotiating table. The argument against the latest GATT treaty boils down to its effect on agricultural production in developing countries, particularly the Philippines. With a government that has never provided food subsidies or any similar forms of support to its farmers, the Philippines stands to lose from GATT’s imposition against such subsidies in the name of creating a level playing field. The country is in a rush to industrialize in order to become globally competitive, hence it is reducing the portion of its lands dedicated to agriculture. This could lead to the worsening of the country’s dismal state of food security. With this subjection of lands to the terms of market efficiency comes the decreasing possibility of genuine land reform. In light of the country’s ratification of the GATT treaty, the paper insists that after consulting with the affected sectors of society, the Philippine government must prioritize the establishment of national food self-reliance through accelerated implementation of agrarian reform and the endowment of financial support to small farmers.
Are We Ready for GATT
Wigberto E. Ta?ada
Kasarinlan : Philippine Journal of Third World Studies , 1994,
Abstract: Originally delivered as a privilege speech in the Philippine Senate, the piece highlights the inability of the government to identify the specific gains and losses that the Philippine economy will incur under the new GATT treaty. It answers the titular question with a firm negative, arguing that the Philippines is unprepared for such extensive economic liberalization. The country is heavily dependent on foreign industries in order to sustain its own productive capabilities. The country’s local produce cannot compete with cheaper foreign alternatives, which will flood the country should trade restrictions be removed in accordance with the treaty’s stipulations. Agriculture will suffer the most from such inundation; the unfair competition from cheaper imports will be a major setback in the country’s progress towards self-sufficiency in rice and corn production. Only nontraditional export crops stand to benefit from GATT’s injunctions, but this gain is hardly enough to offset the possible economic losses that the implementation of the agreement could bring about. In conclusion, the paper calls for greater government activism in order for the Philippines to thrive in a liberalized global trading arrangement—the government must do away with the naive assumption that growth automatically results from opening up the economy. The State must directly intervene in the development of local industries, following a deeper inquiry into the repercussions of the country’s membership to GATT.
Teaching China GATT  [PDF]
Raj Bhala
Trade, Law and Development , 2009,
Abstract: How would China fare in its first World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute? That question has been of interest to international trade law practitioners and scholars ever since China acceded to the WTO on 11 December 2001, and indeed even before then, in the years leading up to its accession. The answer now exists. China lost, and lost rather thoroughly, in the 2009 Auto Parts case concerning the imposition of 25 percent charge on imported auto parts by China. However, its loss is a lesson to China, and indeed all WTO Members, about important GATT principles, and indeed about the Golden Rule. Further, for China, and the world, the Auto Parts litigation leads to broader and deeper questions about the nature and extent of economic and political reforms.After a brief discussion of the facts leading to the dispute and the principles of international trade law applicable, the article examines the Panel and Appellate Body rulings and China’s arguments. The author concludes by making three comments: First, China can take heart from its small victory in proving it did not violate the promises it made when acceding to the WTO. Second, the dispute serves as an important lesson for China on the Golden Rule of international trade. Third, the dispute plays only a small role in the bigger scheme concerning the grip on political power held by the Chinese Communist Party.
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