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Rethinking special and differential treatment in the WTO

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  • Yanai, Akiko

Abstract

Special and differential treatment (S&D) allows differentiated treatment for developing countries within the WTO system by justifying a deviation from the most-favoured-nation obligation. Since it was incorporated into the GATT (the predecessor of the WTO) in the 1960s, S&D has played a significant role in promoting the integration of developing countries into the multilateral trading system. However, S&D is undergoing complicated and entangled discussion at the current multilateral trade negotiations, the Doha Development Agenda. There are a number of reasons to make opposing arguments in developed and developing countries, among which this paper focuses on two elements: diversification of developing countries and instability of preferential schemes. In order to overcome these problems and in order to make S&D more effective and operational, this paper considers the following alternative approaches: differentiation among developing countries applying the common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR) principle by analogy and codification of a preferential scheme as a multilateral agreement in the manner of North-South RTAs with flexibility.

Suggested Citation

  • Yanai, Akiko, 2013. "Rethinking special and differential treatment in the WTO," IDE Discussion Papers 435, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  • Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper435
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Keck, Alexander & Low, Patrick, 2004. "Special and differential treatment in the WTO: Why, when and how?," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2004-03, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    2. Michalopoulos, Constantine, 2000. "The role of special differential treatment for developing countries in GATT and the World Trade Organization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2388, The World Bank.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Developing countries; Trade policy; International trade; WTO; Special and differential treatment; Development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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