The changing fundamentals in international economic law, especially in the area of world trade, have drastically altered the province of influence of nation-states within and beyond national frontiers. Trade policy is no longer formulated without considering whether it is consistent with the international obligations of the state in question. Some observers even worry that the rate at which WTO members are becoming amenable to trade openness puts traditional state sovereignty at risk. Consequently, globalisation and trade liberalisation have drastically reshaped the conceptual approach taken in respect of governance within nation-states. Similarly, because of the interconnectivity of the global economic order, it is certainly difficult nowadays to delink the activities of different international economic institutions. In view of this interconnectivity, in respect of many of its activities the WTO would hardly be able to operate in isolation from institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Bank of International Settlement, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and so on. The notion of governance within the community of nations cannot be regarded as inseparable from factors beyond national borders. In other words, ‘the inter-dependent regulation of trade and other fields that are deemed to have an impact on trade has been a powerful principle for the expansion of WTO regulation and the single undertaking has, so far, served as the vector to implement linkage’.
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