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Special and Differential Treatment in the GATT: A Pyrrhic Victory for Developing Countries


  • Christie, Andrew


Preferential measures for developing countries implemented within the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade failed to achieve their purported goal of facilitating economic development; this failure was due to their weak theoretical underpinnings and poor policy design. Not only were the demands developing countries made for discriminatory preferences largely ineffectual, their demands for preferential treatment, together with their forgoing full participation in the multilateral trading system, fundamentally reduced the obligation of developed countries to consider the interests of developing countries in future negotiation rounds. Thus the winning of preferences was rendered a pyrrhic victory for developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Christie, Andrew, 2009. "Special and Differential Treatment in the GATT: A Pyrrhic Victory for Developing Countries," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 10(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ecjilt:55900

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wilkinson, Rorden & Scott, James, 2008. "Developing country participation in the GATT: a reassessment," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 473-510, July.
    2. Baldwin, R E & Murray, Tracy, 1977. "MFN Tariff Reductions and Developing Country Trade Benefits under the GSP," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(345), pages 30-46, March.
    3. Joseph Francois & Bernard Hoekman & Miriam Manchin, 2006. "Preference Erosion and Multilateral Trade Liberalization," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(2), pages 197-216.
    4. Ahmad, Jaleel, 1985. "Prospects of trade liberalization between the developed and the developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 13(9), pages 1077-1086, September.
    5. Ozden, Caglar & Reinhardt, Eric, 2005. "The perversity of preferences: GSP and developing country trade policies, 1976-2000," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 1-21, October.
    6. Kimberly Ann Elliott, 1997. "Corruption and the Global Economy," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 12.
    7. E. Paul Durrenberger, 2005. "Labour," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. André Sapir, 1981. "Trade benefits under the EEC generalized system of preferences," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8290, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Patrick A. Messerlin, 2006. "Enlarging the Vision for Trade Policy Space: Special and Differentiated Treatment and Infant Industry Issues," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(10), pages 1395-1407, October.
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