The International Trading System and Its Future
This chapter describes the evolution and structure of the international trading system, focusing on the tension between the fundamental GATT/WTO principle of most-favored-nation (MFN) treatment and the proliferation of discriminatory trading arrangements, including regional agreements as well as new versions of special and differential treatment of low-income countries. It also discusses the increasing pressure to use the enforcement power of the GATT/WTO system to achieve member compliance with social norms in the areas of labor and environment. The chapter concludes by considering some significant challenges that currently face the international trading system and possible directions of the system’s evolution in response to these challenges.
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