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Transparency in the WTO SPS and TBT Agreements
The Real Jewel in the Crown

$39.99 (F)

Part of Cambridge International Trade and Economic Law

  • Date Published: August 2022
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108732376

$ 39.99 (F)

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About the Authors
  • Transparency of trade regulations by all WTO Members is essential for open, fair and predictable trade relations. A myriad of different regulations apply in all WTO Members and have the potential for affecting international trade. The Agreements on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures and on Technical Barriers to Trade provide the most comprehensive frameworks in the WTO to address the costs arising from such regulatory diversity, through obligations on regulatory transparency and co-operation. This book gives a detailed account of the legal disciplines of the two Agreements, an in-depth presentation of discussions between WTO Members, and an overview of the few cases that end up in formal dispute settlement. It shows that the strength of the WTO legal and institutional system goes well beyond its dispute settlement system, with transparency enabling implementation of WTO obligations through better information sharing and co-operation among Members themselves, through non-judicial means.

    • Provides a combination of legal analysis and empirical research about the SPS and TBT Agreements of the WTO
    • Brings light on an often under-studied aspect of WTO institutional framework, especially by law scholars
    • Draws links between practices of trade and regulatory communities
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘The WTO has now more than 160 members, and their economic, legal and political systems vary hugely. This brilliant study shows how transparency is helping ensure that WTO rules are implemented and respected by the membership.' Andre Sapir, Université libre de Bruxelles, former principal economic adviser to the president of the European Commission

    ‘With the global trading system increasingly under threat, it has never been more important for scholars to shine a spotlight on transparency – perhaps the system's most underappreciated contribution. And nowhere is that more salient than in regulatory standards for food, animal and plant trade, as well as the interoperability of products criss-crossing an increasingly technical and connected world. Karttunen explains how the legal system's pipes work, when and why the plumbers are needed, and whether it might be time for the WTO to do some home renovations before the trading system's basement gets flooded.' Chad P. Bown, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC

    ‘This is the single, most comprehensive and innovative research on transparency at the WTO. Readers, practitioners, and academics alike, will profit immensely from quality of analysis offered by the author.' Petros C. Mavroidis, Edwin B. Parker Professor of Foreign and Comparative Law, Columbia University

    ‘Marianna Karttunen's valuable book is the first sustained analysis of the specific trade concerns process in the two WTO standards committees, truly the real jewel in the crown of WTO conflict management. Karttunen also demonstrates the purposes of regulatory transparency and cooperation, including how important it is for domestic stakeholders. Running through the book is the awareness that far from a mechanical exercise of interest only to officials, firms too need to be informed about domestic regulation in other countries, and they need opportunities to engage with officials on the trade effects of these regulations. Discussion in the committees on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) is often motivated, Karttunen shows, by concerns raised by stakeholders who have learned about a new regulation from a WTO notification.' Robert Wolfe, Professor Emeritus, School of Policy Studies, Queen's University

    ‘The entire text is informative and will be helpful to concerned scholars and trade policy specialists.' K. Buterbaugh, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2022
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108732376
    • length: 358 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.483kg
    • contains: 31 b/w illus. 11 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Why The SPS and TBT Agreements? A Legal Discipline Favouring Regulatory Quality:
    1. Legal discipline on domestic regulations in SPS and TBT agreements: finding a balance between regulatory autonomy and free trade
    2. Transparency as a core discipline under the SPS and TBT agreements
    3. Regulatory co-operation under the SPS and TBT agreements
    Part II. Regulatory Co-operation under the SPS and TBT Agreements:
    4. The steps in the pyramid from domestic measures to disputes
    5. The content of the pyramid: what do members need to know to prevent disputes from rising?
    Part III. Transparency as a Complement for Dispute Settlement: Information and Dialogue To Favour a Mutually Acceptable Solution:
    6. Transparency and disputes: where is the difference?
    7. The challenge of climbing the 'pyramid' leading up to disputes
    8. The 'transparency staircase' to climb the dispute settlement pyramid
    9. Is the current interaction between transparency and dispute settlement optimal?

  • Author

    Marianna B. Karttunen, OECD, Paris
    Marianna B. Karttunen has worked as a Policy Analyst at the OECD Regulatory Policy Division, focusing on international regulatory co-operation since February 2016. In this position, she carried out innovative policy work on international regulatory co-operation, including leading the first in-depth country reviews on the subject. Previously, she held a position as Policy Adviser at the OECD G8-G20 Sherpa Office and conducted research at the Trade and Environment Division of the WTO. Karttunen has a Ph.D. in Law from the European University Institute and has published in leading journals on international trade law.

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