The WTO Members’ negotiations under the Doha mandate on special and differential treatment (‘SDT’) and development issues have made little progress. The gap between developed countries and developing countries in this regard seems too wide to be bridged. This gap originates from a fundamental difference in their basic stances on cross-cutting issues. In principle, without prejudice to currently available SDT under individual WTO Agreements, developing countries should be given flexibilities in implementing WTO rules, which may result in the rebalancing of rights and obligations of WTO Members but only when policy measures at issue can contribute to particular developing countries’ development needs and no alternative less-trade restrictive measures are reasonably available. After reviewing WTO Members’ discussions since the adoption of the Doha Ministerial Declaration, this article suggests a ‘measure-specific ex ante approach’ for a workable solution to bridging the gap between developed countries and developing countries on SDT and development issues.
Journal Article. 7057 words.
Subjects: Financial Law ; Public International Law ; Economics
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