Chapter

“Developing Member” and Least-Developed Country Status at the GATT and WTO: Self-Designation versus the Politics of Accession

Sonia E. Rolland

in Development at the World Trade Organization

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199600885
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738364 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600885.003.0005

Series: International Economic Law Series

“Developing Member” and Least-Developed Country Status at the GATT and WTO: Self-Designation versus the Politics of Accession

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Neither general international law nor the WTO legal system have a set definition of “developing country.” Members simply designate themselves as developing countries for purposes of particular WTO provisions. In practice, however, a more nuanced picture emerges. This chapter examines the theory and practice of the developing country designation under the GATT and WTO agreements, particularly through the lens of accessions. The accession process, including the availability of special and differential treatment and other benefits and the level of concessions extracted from the acceding members, has effectively become a critical threshold issue for the 59 developing countries and 14 transitional countries (Eastern and Central European countries) that became WTO members since 1995, and 29 countries currently negotiating their accession.

Keywords: accession; least developed country; LDC; developing country; colonialism; negotiation; special and differential treatment; SDT; development; concessions

Chapter.  5079 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public International Law

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