Article

The International Trading System and Its Future

Rachel McCulloch

in The Oxford Handbook of International Commercial Policy

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195378047
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195378047.013.0002

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The International Trading System and Its Future

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This article discusses the international trading system. Section 1 begins by describing the evolution and structure of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization (GATT/WTO) system. Section 2 deals with the tension between the fundamental GATT/WTO principle of most-favored-nation treatment, that is, nondiscrimination among trading partners, and the trend toward discriminatory trading arrangements, including the proliferation of regional agreements, as well as new versions of special and differential treatment of low-income countries. Section 3 focuses on participation of developing countries in the system and the effort to use special treatment to promote development objectives. Section 4 discusses the pressure to use the enforcement power of the GATT/WTO system to achieve member compliance with social norms in the areas of environment and labor. Section 5 assesses some significant challenges that currently face the international trading system. Section 6 concludes by considering possible directions of the system's evolution in response to these challenges.

Keywords: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; GATT; World Trade Organization; WTO; most favored nation; developing countries; social norms; environment; labor

Article.  8271 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; International Economics ; Public Economics

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