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Part III World Trade Law and Regional Trade Agreements, XI History and Development of World Trade Law

From: Principles of International Economic Law (2nd Edition)

Matthias Herdegen

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 28 January 2023

International investment law — International monetary law — International trade

This chapter maps out the history and development of World Trade Law. It charts the development of the World Trade Organization (WTO) system prior to the Uruguay negotiation round (1986–94), beginning at the Atlantic Charter’s 1941 emphasis on non-discriminatory access to markets and raw materials as a principle of the post-war order. The so-called ‘Uruguay Round’, however, is what had brought about considerable comprehensive reform of the world trading system. It introduced a new institutional framework based on the WTO, a dispute settlement mechanism with strong quasi-judicial elements, and a number of new agreements extending the scope of world trade law. The chapter then considers developments post-Uruguay and discusses the current challenges faced by the WTO system.

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