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Multilateral supervision of regional trade agreements: Developing countries' perspectives.

Thiratayakinant, Kraijakr Ley (2010) Multilateral supervision of regional trade agreements: Developing countries' perspectives. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

The number of regional trade agreements (RTAs) has risen sharply in the past decade. This has resulted in a new global trade landscape where a great proportion of trade is carried through preferential arrangements rather than on a most-favoured-nation basis. This prompts concerns over how such trade agreements should be managed. Importantly, developing countries are increasingly taking part in the current RTA proliferation. This thesis therefore sets out to identify the challenges facing developing countries when they negotiate and form such trade arrangements with their developed-country trade partners and among themselves, and seeks to deal with these challenges through the WTO rules and mechanisms pertaining RTA supervision. To do so, the thesis first surveys the general trends and characteristics of the current RTA proliferation, and examines three bodies of literature, which are supplemented with the author's personal participation in RTA negotiations and interviews with trade negotiators, in order to identify the challenges facing developing countries. It then evaluates the WTO rules governing the formation of an RTA, namely, GATT Article XXIV, the Enabling Clause, and GATS Article V. It is argued that these rules are problematic and inadequate to deal with the challenges. In response, the thesis proposes a variety of interpretative solutions. Lastly, acknowledging the practicality of the proposed substantive reforms, the thesis explores whether there are other less contentious means that may complement and strengthen the existing WTO rules and mechanisms with regard to RTA supervision. These include promulgation of code of best practices, revision of the WTO surveillance mechanism, and technical assistance for developing countries in relation to RTAs.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Law
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2398

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