Multilateral Determinants of Regionalism: The Effects of GATT/WTO on the Formation of Preferential Trading Arrangements
AbstractPreferential trading arrangements (PTAs) have spread widely over the past fifty years. During the same era, multilateral openness has grown to unprecedented heights, spurred by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and its successor, the World Trade Organization (WTO). If the cornerstone of the manifestly successful multilateral regime is nondiscrimination, why have its members increasingly resorted to preferential liberalization? We argue that developments at the heart of GATT WTO encourage its members to form PTAs as devices to obtain bargaining leverage within the multilateral regime. Specifically, the growth in GATT WTO membership, the periodic multilateral trade negotiation rounds, as well as participation and, especially, losses in formal GATT WTO disputes, have led its members to seek entrance into PTAs. Conducting the first statistical tests on the subject, we find strong evidence in support of this argument.For helpful comments, we are grateful to Marc Busch, Peter Gourevitch, David Lake, Lisa Martin, Joy Mazumdar, Helen Milner, Thomas Oatley, aglar zden, Francisco Parodi, Jon Pevehouse, Jay Smith, Jeffrey Stacey, Chris Zorn, and two anonymous reviewers. For research assistance, we thank Yoram Haftel, Jesse Hamner, and Jon Pevehouse. Earlier versions of this article were presented at the 2000 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, D.C.; the 2001 Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago; and seminars at Emory University, the University of Chicago (PIPES), the University of Illinois, and the University of Wisconsin.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal International Organization.
Volume (Year): 57 (2003)
Issue (Month): 04 (September)
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