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Edited by William A. Kerr and James D. Gaisford
Chapter 43: The Generalized System of Preferences and Special and Differential Treatment for Developing Countries in the GATT and WTO
43 The generalized system of preferences and special and diﬀerential treatment for developing countries in the GATT and WTO Robert Read The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the concept of Special and Diﬀerential (S&D) treatment for the exports of developing countries were incorporated into the GATT as a result of the Kennedy and Tokyo Rounds of trade negotiations. Prior to this, however, some industrialized economies granted preferential market access to the exports of speciﬁc developing countries on a selective bilateral basis. These preferences were generally asymmetric in that they did not require the developing country beneﬁciaries to make reciprocal trade concessions. The GSP was adopted on a voluntary basis by many industrialized economies as a result of the Kennedy Round but the implementation of the GSP and S&D treatment only became a legal obligation for the wealthiest GATT Member countries at the conclusion of the Tokyo Round in 1979. This chapter provides a critical overview of the GSP and S&D treatment for the exports of developing countries. The ﬁrst section outlines the original GATT provisions for developing countries. This is followed by a brief discussion of the origins of the GSP and S&D in the formation of UNCTAD and their incorporation into the GATT Kennedy and Tokyo Round trade negotiations. The key GATT articles dealing with the GSP and the obligations of S&D treatment are then summarized. The modiﬁcations and amendments made as a result of the Uruguay Round...
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