Regional Trade Agreements v. The WTO: A Proposal for Reform of Article XXIV to Counter this Institutional Threat
27 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2007
This Article, originally presented at a symposium, THE WTO AT A CROSSROADS, in 2004 at the Law Faculty of Bar Ilan University in Israel, provides a proposal that responds to the problems posed by the increasing prevalence of regional trade agreements. The Article argues that RTAs have tended to undermine the development of the multilateral trade system. Specifically, they pose an institutional threat to the WTO - they drain states' enthusiasm for multilateral trade negotiations, create conflicts between RTAs and the WTO, and divert resources from the WTO to the RTA process. The Article's proposal would ameliorate those institutional harms through, among other things, greater involvement of the WTO secretariat in the creation of RTAs, as well as through the clear establishment of the supremacy of the WTO over conflicting RTA rules and jurisprudence.
Keywords: Regional Trade Agreement, Free Trade Agreement, WTO, World Trade Agreement, Article XIV, Trade, International Trade, Regional Trade, GATT. General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs, Trade Diversion, Doha
JEL Classification: F01, F02, F10, F113, F15, F42, F43, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation