Non-discrimination in the World Trade Organization: The Rules and Exceptions

Overview

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International trade is conducted mainly under the rules of the World Trade Organization. Its non-discrimination rules are of fundamental importance. In essence, they require WTO members not to discriminate amongst products of other WTO members in trade matters (the mostfavoured- nation rule) and, subject to permitted market-access limitations, not to discriminate against products of other WTO members in favour of domestic products (the national ...

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Overview

Also available as an e-book

International trade is conducted mainly under the rules of the World Trade Organization. Its non-discrimination rules are of fundamental importance. In essence, they require WTO members not to discriminate amongst products of other WTO members in trade matters (the mostfavoured- nation rule) and, subject to permitted market-access limitations, not to discriminate against products of other WTO members in favour of domestic products (the national treatment rule). The interpretation of these rules is quite difficult. Their reach is potentially so broad that it has been felt that they should be limited by a number of exceptions, some of which also present interpretative difficulties. Indeed, one of the principal conundrums faced by WTO dispute settlement is how to strike the appropriate balance between the rules and exceptions. Davey explores the background and justification for the non-discrimination rules and examines how the rules and the exceptions have been interpreted in WTO dispute settlement. He gives considerable attention to whether the exceptions give sufficient discretion to WTO members to pursue their legitimate non-trade policy goals.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789004233140
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/4/2012
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 4.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

William J. Davey, BA, JD (Michigan), Dr. iur.h.c. (Bern), is the Guy Raymond Jones Chair in Law Emeritus at the University of Illinois College of Law, where he has taught international trade law since 1984. He was Director of the Legal Affairs Division of the World Trade Organization from 1995 to 1999 and has written extensively on WTO dispute settlement and international trade rules.
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Table of Contents

Introduction;
Chapter I. The WTO/GATT system;
A. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade;
B. The Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization; 1. The functions of the WTO; 2. The structure of the WTO Agreement; 3. Basic principles of the WTO system; (a) The preamble to the WTO Agreement; (b) Trade liberalization; (c) Non-discrimination; (d) Promoting fair international trade; (e) Transparency of international trade regulations; (f) Special treatment for developing countries; (g) The major exceptions to the basic rules; 4. Conclusion;
C. The WTO dispute settlement mechanism; 1. The GATT dispute settlement system; 2. Overview of the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding; (a) General DSU provisions; (b) The DSU’s general principles; (c) Multilateralism and the exclusivity of DSU procedures; 3. Consultations; 4. The panel process; 5. The appellate process; 6. Surveillance of implementation; 7. Conclusion;
Chapter II. The concept and history of non-discrimination rules;
A. Some thoughts on the concept of non-discrimination;
B. The history of non-discrimination rules in international trade;
Chapter III. Most-favoured-nation treatment;
A. Introduction;
B. Application of the most-favoured-nation obligation of GATT Article I; 1. Generally; 2. Coverage; 3. Advantage, favour, privilege or immunity; 4. Like products; 5. Unconditionality; 6. Conclusion;
C. Other GATT most-favoured-nation obligations; 1. Article XIII; 2. Article XVII; 3. Other most-favoured-nation provisions;
D. Most-favoured-nation obligations in other WTO agreements; 1. The General Agreement on Trade in Services;
2. The TRIPS Agreement; 3. The SPS Agreement; 4. The TBT Agreement; 5. The Rules of Origin Agreement; 6. The Safeguards Agreement; 7. The Government Procurement Agreement;
Chapter IV. The exceptions to the most-favoured-nation obligation of Article I;
A. Free-trade areas and customs unions; 1. Introduction; 2. WTO rules on free-trade areas and customs unions;3. WTO review of free-trade areas and customs unions; 4. Do free-trade areas and customs unions threaten the WTO?;
B. Preferences for developing countries; 1. Introduction; 2. WTO rules on preferences for developing countries; 3. The Tariff Preferences case; 4. Problems of developing country preferences;
Chapter V. National treatment;
A. Introduction;
B. Internal taxes; 1. Text of Article III (2) and interpretative note; 2. Article III (2), first sentence; (a) Like products; (b) Level of taxation; (c) Article III (2) or Article II — internal charge or duty; (d) Administrative requirements related to internal taxes; (e) Conclusion; 3. Article III (2), second sentence and interpretative note; (a) Directly competitive or substitutable products; (b) Dissimilar taxation; (c) Protective application; (d) Conclusion;
C. Internal regulations; 1. Text of Article III (4); 2. Laws . . . affecting . . . sale; (a) Laws, regulations and requirements; (b) Affecting; (c) Sale, etc.; 3. Like products; 4. Less favourable treatment; 5. Article III or Article XI — internal measures or quotas; 6. Conclusion — it’s all about competition;
D. Other Article III provisions (mixing requirements, price controls, films);
E. Exceptions to national treatment — Article III (8); 1. Government procurement; 2. Subsidies;
F. National treatment obligations in other WTO agreements; 1. The General Agreement on Trade in Services; 2. The TRIPS Agreement; 3. The TBT Agreement; 4. The Government Procurement Agreement;
G. Concluding thoughts;
Chaper VI. General exceptions;
A. Text of GATT Article XX and GATS Article XIV;
B. General issues;
C. Public morals and public order; 1. US — Gambling; 2. China — Publications and Audiovisual Products; 3. Conclusion;
D. Health and safety measures; 1. Is the measure a health measure?; 2. Is the health measure “necessary”?; (a) GATT cases; (b) WTO developments; i(i) EC — Asbestos; (ii) Brazil — Retreaded Tyres; (c) Conclusion;
E. Enforcement measures; 1. GATT cases; 2. WTO Developments; (a) Korea — Various Measures on Beef; (b) Canada — Wheat Exports and Grain Imports; (c) Dominican Republic — Import and Sale of Cigarettes; (d) Mexico — Soft Drinks; (e) US — Customs Bond Directive; (f) China — Auto Parts; (g) Colombia — Ports of Entry;
(h) Thailand — Cigarettes (Philippines); 3. Conclusion;
F. Conservation measures; 1. GATT cases; 2. WTO developments; (a) US — Gasoline; (b) US —Shrimp; 3. Conclusion;
G. The chapeau to Article XX; 1. The object and purpose of the chapeau; 2. Unjustifiable or arbitrary discrimination; (a) US — Gasoline; (b) US — Shrimp; (c) US — Gambling; (d) Brazil — Retreaded Tyres; 3. Disguised restriction on international trade; 4. The SPS Agreement; 5. Conclusion;
H. Concluding thoughts;
Chapter VII. Final observations;
Bibliography.
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