However it could have been negotiated as part of the

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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 inherent i...
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This document was uploaded on 03/23/2014.

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