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In the Shadow of the DSU: Addressing Specific Trade Concerns in the WTO SPS and TBT Committees

Author

Listed:
  • Horn, Henrik

    () (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • Mavroides, Petros C.

    (EUI)

  • Wijkström, Erik N.

    (World Trade Organization)

Abstract

The paper argues that focusing only on disputes formally raised in the WTO Dispute Settlement system underestimates the extent of trade conflict resolution within the WTO. Both the SPS and TBT Committees address a significant number of ‘specific trade concerns’ (STCs) that in the overwhelming majority of cases do not become formal disputes. The STCs address differences between Members concerning the conformity of national measures in the SPS and TBT areas with these agreements. It appears as if Committee work on STCs significantly helps defuse potential trade frictions concerning national policies in the covered areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Horn, Henrik & Mavroides, Petros C. & Wijkström, Erik N., 2013. "In the Shadow of the DSU: Addressing Specific Trade Concerns in the WTO SPS and TBT Committees," Working Paper Series 960, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0960
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    Keywords

    WTO; Specific trade concerns; SPS and TBT Committees; Dispute settlement;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law

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