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14 Preferential Trade Agreements

Mitsuo Matsushita, Thomas J. Schoenbaum, Petros C. Mavroidis, Michael Hahn

From: The World Trade Organization: Law, Practice, and Policy (3rd Edition)

Mitsuo Matsushita, Thomas Schoenbaum, Petros C. Mavroidis, Michael Hahn

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 09 March 2021

Specific trade agreements — Sources of international law

This chapter focuses on the role of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) in the GATT/WTO regime. WTO Members that have satisfied the requirements included in Article XXIV GATT can justifiably treat products originating in some WTO Members (those with which they have formed a PTA) better than like products originating in the remaining WTO Members. Art. XXIV GATT distinguishes between two forms of PTAs: free trade areas (FTA) and customs unions (CU). The negotiating history of Art. XXIV GATT; the explanations advanced by economists and political scientists for why one might opt to go preferential; the legal tests for approving a PTA; and PTAs in WTO dispute settlement are discussed.

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