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Normative Influences of "Special and Differential Treatment" on North-South RTAs


  • Yanai, Akiko


Recently, there has been a surge in bilateral and regional trade arrangements betweendeveloped and developing countries, which are known as North-South RTAs. Under thecurrent legal system of the WTO, North-South RTAs are governed by Article XXIV of theGATT or Article V of the GATS, which means such RTAs must be reciprocal and must coversubstantially all the trade. On the other hand, there is another category of rules on RTAsbased on the so-called Enabling Clause, which, in exceptional circumstances, providesspecial and differential treatment (SDT) for RTAs among developing countries. This paperconsiders the applicability of the SDT concept to North-South RTAs by examining why ruleson RTAs and the concept of SDT were incorporated into the GATT/WTO legal framework soas to permit the derogation of most-favored-nation (MFN) obligations.

Suggested Citation

  • Yanai, Akiko, 2009. "Normative Influences of "Special and Differential Treatment" on North-South RTAs," IDE Discussion Papers 197, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  • Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper197

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    More about this item


    Preferential treatment; Regional trade agreement; WTO; Developing countries; Developed countries; International trade; International agreements;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law

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