This book addresses legal aspects of GATT Article XXIV and its 'internal' trade requirements as they define the WTO gateway for regional trade agreements. The case for a narrow avenue is made by exploring historical foundations in the Havana ITO negotiations and later difficulties of applying provisions to developed-developing country free-trade areas. The external economic effects for the trade of non-members will remain of concern, but rules of origin and regional safeguard regimes can affect intra-regional trade between large and small members as well. The GATT-47 practice is contrasted with WTO developments as dispute settlement reports have established the conditional legal nature of the regional exception. A treaty law argument is made that GATT/WTO rules retain continuing validity for regional members. Implications for the WTO review process are considered.
• Foreword by Professor Jagdish Bhagwati
Acknowledgements; Note on terminology; Abbreviations; Introduction; Part I. Pre-Gatt Preference and the MFN Response: 1. Interwar preference and the case for MFN; 2. ITO negotiations for a regional exception; Part II. Regionalism in the GATT (1947): 3. Article XXIV in practice: the overseas association; 4. Systemic issues in GATT-47 reviews; 5. The GATT panel practice response (bananas I and II); 6. Economic (customs union) theory and article XXIV; 7. Modern regionalism; 8. The choice of framework: origin rules and internal trade; 9. Regional safeguards and restrictive measures; 10. Article XXIV panel and appellate body practice in the WTO; 11. Systemic issues in the CRTA; 12. A treaty law framework for the internal trade requirement; 13. Book conclusion: recent developments; Appendices; References; Index.