Special and Differential Treatment in the WTO Agreements: A Legal Analysis

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:

Series: International Economic Law Series

Special and Differential Treatment in the WTO Agreements: A Legal Analysis

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This chapter examines the legal nature of Special and Differential Treatment (SDT) provisions in the WTO agreements. What rights and obligations do they create and for whom? Using the language of the provisions as well as developments in international law generally, this chapter argues that many SDT provisions could be given more legal force than has been the case so far, and hence become operational tools for developing members. It then surveys the implementation record of SDT provisions to assess whether developing members have in fact used them since the inception of the GATT. It demonstrates that only a handful of SDT provisions have been invoked consistently, and even some of those have fallen into disuse since the inception of the WTO.

Keywords: SDT; special and differential treatment; exceptions; escape clauses; derogation; transitional time period; technical assistance; best efforts; notification; balance of payments; subsidies; public health; TRIPS; agreement on the trade-related aspects of intellectual property; development

Chapter.  14676 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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