This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: as part of the Tokyo Round of the 1970s , s ince that
negotiation was an attem pt at a 'cons titutional reform ' of the General Agreem ent on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Or
it could have been put off to the future, as the US governm ent wanted. What factors led to the creation of the
WTO in the early 1990s ?
One factor was the pattern of m ultilateral bargaining that developed late in the Uruguay Round. Like all com plex
international agreem ents , the WTO was a product of a s eries of trade-offs between principal actors and groups .
For the United States , which did not want a new Organis ation, the dis pute s ettlem ent part of the WTO package
achieved its longs tanding goal of a m ore effective and m ore legal dis pute s ettlem ent s ys tem . For the
Europeans , who by the 1990s had com e to view GATT dis pute s ettlem ent les s in political term s and m ore as a
regim e of legal obligations , the WTO package was acceptable as a m eans to dis cipline the res ort to unilateral
m eas ures by the United States . Countries like Canada and other m iddle and s m aller trading partners were
attracted by the expans ion of a rules bas ed s ys tem and by the s ym bolic value of a trade Organis ation, both of
which inherently s upport the weak agains t the s trong. The developing countries were attracted due to the
provis ions banning uni 'lateral m eas ures . Finally, and perhaps m os t im portant, m any countries at the Uruguay
Round cam e to put a higher priority on the export gains than on the im port los s es that the negotiation would
produce, and they cam e to as s ociate the WTO and a rules -bas ed s ys tem with thos e gains . This reas oning replicated in m any countries - was contained in U.S. Am bas s ador Kantor's defence of the WTO, and it
am ounted to a recognition that international trade and its benefits cannot be enjoyed unles s trading nations
accept the dis cipline of a negotiated rules -bas ed environm ent.
A s econd factor in the creation of the WTO was pres s ure from lawyers and the legal proces s . The dis pute
s ettlem ent s ys tem of the WTO was s een as a victory of legalis ts over pragm atis ts but the m atter went deeper
than that. The GATT, and the WTO, are contract organis ations bas ed on rules , and it is inevitable that an
Organis ation created to further rules will in turn be influenced by the legal proces s . Robert Hudec has written of
the 'm om entum of legal developm ent', but what is this precis ely? Legal developm ent can be defined as
prom otion of the technical legal values of cons is tency, clarity (or, certainty) and effectivenes s ; thes e are values
that thos e res pons ible for adm inis tering any legal s ys tem will s eek to m axim is e. As it played out in the WTO,
cons is tency m eant integrating under one roof the whole lot of s eparate agreem ents s igned under GATT
aus pices ; clarity m eant rem oving am biguities about the powers of contracting parties to m ake certain decis ions
or to undertake waivers ; and effectivenes s m eant elim inating exceptions aris ing out of grandfather-rights and
res olving defects in dis pute s ettlem ent procedures and ins titutional provis ions . Concern for thes e values is
View Full Document
This document was uploaded on 03/23/2014.
- Summer '14