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Article: Saving the WTO from the risk of Irrelevance: The WTO dispute settlement mechanism as a 'common good' for RTA disputes

TitleSaving the WTO from the risk of Irrelevance: The WTO dispute settlement mechanism as a 'common good' for RTA disputes
Authors
Issue Date2008
PublisherOxford University Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://jiel.oxfordjournals.org/
Citation
Journal Of International Economic Law, 2008, v. 11 n. 4, p. 899-925 How to Cite?
AbstractOver the past few decades, Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) have proliferated globally. Such proliferation of RTAs created a renewed sense of urgency for the WTO to take action in order to avoid the fate of being eclipsed into irrelevance. There are several options for coping with the challenge. Theoretically speaking, the best approach would be to heighten the level of ambition in global trade talks to reduce all trade barriers to zero so that the discriminatory effect created by RTAs could be reduced or even eliminated. In reality, such an approach would be impossible for well-known reasons. The next best option would be for the WTO to draft 'best practices' or model RTAs to minimize the effect of further fragmentation created by different breeds of RTAs. The problems with this approach are first the resource constraints of the WTO, second the bounded rationality of human beings, and third, whether a 'one size fits all' approach would work. Yet another option offered is to strengthen the WTOs monitoring system of RTAs, with the 2006 rules on transparency being the most recent example. Unfortunately, as the Committee on RTAs (CRTAs), the main enforcer of the monitoring rules in the WTO, has been plagued with ineffectiveness because of the consensus rule, heightened monitoring rules would not be of much help either. In this article, we will discuss a fourth option, i.e. to use the WTO dispute settlement mechanism as a venue for resolving RTA disputes. The rationale underlying this initiative is that, by using the WTO dispute settlement system for RTA disputes, the Members will be able to develop a body of 'common law' on RTAs, which would then either form the basis of multilateral rules on RTAs or harmonize RTAs. This way, we can try to minimize the harmful effect of RTAs, and indeed turn RTAs from 'stumbling blocks' into 'building blocks' of the multilateral trading system. © 2008 Oxford University Press.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/155994
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 1.177
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.702
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorGao, Hen_US
dc.contributor.authorLim, CLen_US
dc.date.accessioned2012-08-08T08:39:22Z-
dc.date.available2012-08-08T08:39:22Z-
dc.date.issued2008en_US
dc.identifier.citationJournal Of International Economic Law, 2008, v. 11 n. 4, p. 899-925en_US
dc.identifier.issn1369-3034en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/155994-
dc.description.abstractOver the past few decades, Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) have proliferated globally. Such proliferation of RTAs created a renewed sense of urgency for the WTO to take action in order to avoid the fate of being eclipsed into irrelevance. There are several options for coping with the challenge. Theoretically speaking, the best approach would be to heighten the level of ambition in global trade talks to reduce all trade barriers to zero so that the discriminatory effect created by RTAs could be reduced or even eliminated. In reality, such an approach would be impossible for well-known reasons. The next best option would be for the WTO to draft 'best practices' or model RTAs to minimize the effect of further fragmentation created by different breeds of RTAs. The problems with this approach are first the resource constraints of the WTO, second the bounded rationality of human beings, and third, whether a 'one size fits all' approach would work. Yet another option offered is to strengthen the WTOs monitoring system of RTAs, with the 2006 rules on transparency being the most recent example. Unfortunately, as the Committee on RTAs (CRTAs), the main enforcer of the monitoring rules in the WTO, has been plagued with ineffectiveness because of the consensus rule, heightened monitoring rules would not be of much help either. In this article, we will discuss a fourth option, i.e. to use the WTO dispute settlement mechanism as a venue for resolving RTA disputes. The rationale underlying this initiative is that, by using the WTO dispute settlement system for RTA disputes, the Members will be able to develop a body of 'common law' on RTAs, which would then either form the basis of multilateral rules on RTAs or harmonize RTAs. This way, we can try to minimize the harmful effect of RTAs, and indeed turn RTAs from 'stumbling blocks' into 'building blocks' of the multilateral trading system. © 2008 Oxford University Press.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherOxford University Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://jiel.oxfordjournals.org/en_US
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of International Economic Lawen_US
dc.rightsJOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC LAW. Copyright © Oxford University Press.-
dc.titleSaving the WTO from the risk of Irrelevance: The WTO dispute settlement mechanism as a 'common good' for RTA disputesen_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailLim, CL:cllim@hkucc.hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.authorityLim, CL=rp01261en_US
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1093/jiel/jgn036en_US
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-56749098296en_US
dc.identifier.hkuros153665-
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-56749098296&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_US
dc.identifier.volume11en_US
dc.identifier.issue4en_US
dc.identifier.spage899en_US
dc.identifier.epage925en_US
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000261169900008-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Statesen_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridGao, H=8873017200en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLim, CL=25655107200en_US

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