Social Regulation in the WTO

Social Regulation in the WTO

Trade Policy and International Legal Development

Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer

This original and authoritative book analyzes how the WTO’s restrictions on the use of trade measures for social goals affects the development of the law of the international community.

Preface

Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer

Subjects: law - academic, international economic law, trade law, private international law

Extract

This book is an investigation into the relationship between the general international law on the use of unilateral trade sanctions and other trade regulations and the law of the World Trade Organization’s framework for using such trade measures to pursue social goals. I was pulled to this topic by an interest in discovering what it is that makes some uses of trade so appealing and others so repulsive: why did I feel it was somehow ‘right’ to prohibit the importation of tunafish caught by methods that resulted in the unnecessary loss of significant numbers of dolphins, while it seems equally ‘wrong’ to wield the economic noose over trade partners which democratically elect leaders who stand for different political interests from those the sanctioning government itself has, for example? Yet upon starting my research, my work began to change shape somewhat, as I detected the increasingly preventative effects of WTO rules on not only national law-making, but also international treaty development. The potential effects of such an influence on the overall international legal system have been little examined, and spurred my thinking as a result. A second motivation for this work is my conviction that international law must continue more actively to pursue a goal of enhancing the everyday life of all individuals. I take a cosmopolitan view of what goals the international legal system serves: the goals of individuals as complex social beings and as parts of an ecosystem, the health of which is, circularly, a part of the individual’s...