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WTO Dispute Settlement and the Missing Developing Country Cases: Engaging the Private Sector

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  • Chad P. Bown
  • Bernard M. Hoekman

Abstract

The poorest WTO member countries almost universally fail to engage as either complainants or interested third parties in formal dispute settlement activity related to their market access interests. This paper focuses on costs of the WTO's extended litigation process as an explanation for the potential but 'missing' developing country engagement. We provide a positive examination of the current system, and we catalogue and analyze a set of proposals encouraging the private sector to provide DSU-specific legal assistance to poor countries. We investigate the role of legal service centres, non-governmental organizations, development organizations, international trade litigators, economists, consumer organizations, and law schools to provide poor countries with the services needed at critical stages of the WTO's extended litigation process. In the absence of systemic rules reform, the public-private partnership model imposes a substantial cooperation burden on such groups as they organize export interests, estimate the size of improved market access payoffs, prioritize across potential cases, engage domestic governments, prepare legal briefs, assist in evidentiary discovery, and pursue the public relations effort required to induce foreign political compliance. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of International Economic Law.

Volume (Year): 8 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 861-890

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jieclw:v:8:y:2005:i:4:p:861-890

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Cited by:
  1. Bown, Chad P. & Hoekman, Bernard, 2007. "Developing Countries and Enforcement of Trade Agreements: Why Dispute Settlement Is Not Enough," CEPR Discussion Papers 6459, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jonathan B. Slapin and Julia Gray, University of Pittsburgh, 2009. "Why Some Regional Trade Agreements Work: Private Rents, Exit Options, and Legalization," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp289, IIIS.
  3. Goetz, Christian & Heckelei, Thomas & Rudloff, Bettina, 2008. "What makes countries initiate WTO disputes on food-related issues?," Discussion Papers 56974, University of Bonn, Institute for Food and Resource Economics.
  4. Hoekman, Bernard & Sekkat, Khalid, 2010. "Arab Economic Integration: Missing links," CEPR Discussion Papers 7807, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Kara M. Reynolds & Chad P. Bown, 2014. "Trade Flows and Trade Disputes," Working Papers 2014-05, American University, Department of Economics.
  6. Renwick, Alan & Islam, Md. Mofakkarul & Thomson, Steven, 2012. "Power in Global Agriculture: Economics, Politics, and Natural Resources," International Journal of Agricultural Management, Institute of Agricultural Management & International Farm Management Association, vol. 2(1), October.

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