This book addresses legal aspects of GATT Article XXIV and its ‘internal’ trade requirements as they define the WTO gateway for regional trade agreements. The case for a narrow avenue is made by exploring historical foundations in the Havana ITO negotiations and later difficulties of applying provisions to developed-developing country free-trade areas.
The external economic effects for the trade of non-members will remain of concern, but rules of origin and regional safeguard regimes can affect intra-regional trade between large and small members as well. The GATT-47 practice is contrasted with WTO developments as dispute settlement reports have established the conditional legal nature of the regional exception. A treaty law argument is made that GATT/WTO rules retain continuing validity for regional members. Implications for the WTO review process are considered.
With a foreword by Professor Jagdish Bhagwati.