Regionalism and the World Trade Organization : Is Non-Discrimination Passe?
The paper begins with a discussion of the reasons for the failure of the Working Party mechanism set forth in Article XXIV for examining the consistency of proposed PTA's with GATT. It then briefly surveys the recent literature on regionalism and multilateralism, focusing more on the issues raised than on analytical models. It critically examines the conept of "open regionalism" that has been enthusiastically advanced by the United States in particular and finds it problematic, if not an oxymoron. The paper concludes with a discussion of how further progress towards a non-discriminatory world trading system could be made, even as preferential regional liberalization initiatives proliferate.
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