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Trade and Equality: A Relationship to Discover

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  • Gillian Moon

Abstract

There is conspicuous inequality among World Trade Organisation (WTO) member countries. WTO law has responded to this by creating a set of rules (Special and Differential Treatment or S&DT) which permit specially favorable trading treatment to support the participation of developing countries, even though equality of treatment is a central principle and objective of WTO law. Yet, it is widely agreed that S&DT has not succeeded in its aim of advancing trade equality. Insight into the reasons for this relative failure may be drawn from another body of international law which has equality as a core principle and objective and which also permits special treatment, human rights equality law. Analyzing commonly identified flaws in S&DT from the perspective of the theoretical, conceptual and strategic framework of human rights equality law enables the flaws to be understood more deeply. It also offers a new perspective on the impasse which has been reached in the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations and provides robust guidance as to how S&DT may be made stronger, more effective and more operational. Oxford University Press 2009, all rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Gillian Moon, 2009. "Trade and Equality: A Relationship to Discover," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 617-642, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jieclw:v:12:y:2009:i:3:p:617-642
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jiel/jgp028
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    1. Daniel Esty, 1994. "Greening the GATT: Trade, Environment, and the Future," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 40.
    2. Arvind Subramanian, 1992. "Trade Measures for Environment: A Nearly Empty Box?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 135-152, January.
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