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Accession to the World Trade Organization

A Legal Analysis

Dylan Geraets

This detailed and perceptive book examines the extent and scope of how rules for accession to the WTO may vary between countries, approaching the concerns that some countries enter with a better deal than others. Dylan Geraets critiques these additional ‘rules’ and aims to answer the question of whether new Members of the WTO are under stricter rules than the original Members, whilst analysing the accession process to the multilateral trading system.
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Contents

A Legal Analysis

Dylan Geraets

List of tables

Acknowledgements

List of abbreviations

Table of cited WTO and GATT dispute settlement reports

Table of requests for consultations citing protocol of accession provisions

Introduction

PART I   ACCESSION TO THE MULTILATERAL TRADING SYSTEM

1   The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1947 (GATT 1947) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) – why join the club?

1.1   Introduction: the early days of the multilateral trading system

1.1.1   The International Trade Organization

1.1.2   The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1947

1.2   The World Trade Organization

1.3   Rationales for accession

1.3.1   Economic motives for WTO accession

1.3.2   Political motives for WTO accession

1.3.3   Externalities of WTO accession

1.3.4   Accession in times of regionalization and the Doha Development Round

1.4   Conclusion

2   Membership of the GATT 1947 and the WTO

2.1   Introduction

2.2   Becoming a Contracting Party to the GATT 1947

2.2.1   Joining GATT: accession or succession?

2.2.2   The beginning of GATT: 23 (22) Contracting Parties

2.2.3   A categorization of acceding countries

2.3   Accession to the WTO

2.3.1   An overview: accessions to the WTO in numbers

2.3.2   Joining the WTO

2.4   Conclusion

3   The scope of the multilateral trading system

3.1   Introduction: the legalization of the multilateral trading system

3.2   Moving towards the WTO: the single undertaking

3.2.1   Introduction: the Punta del Este Declaration

3.2.2   Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization

3.2.3   The ‘accession package’

3.2.4   Accession commitments

3.3   Conclusion

PART II   THE STATUS OF PROTOCOLS OF ACCESSION IN THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK OF THE WTO

4   The status of protocols of accession in the legal framework of the WTO

4.1   Introduction

4.2   The enforceability of GATT and WTO protocols of accession

4.2.1   Tracing the roots: GATT protocols of accession

4.2.2   WTO dispute settlement: the enforceability of WTO protocols of accession

4.3   The relationship between commitments in protocols of accession and the WTO Agreement

4.3.1   Legal basis for rules commitments138

4.3.2   Issues in the relationship between commitments in protocols of accession and the WTO Agreement

4.4   Conclusion

PART III   MAPPING EXERCISE: THE CONTENT OF PROTOCOLS OF ACCESSION

5   Mapping Exercise: Methodology and typology – commitments on specific matters

5.1   Introduction

5.2   Efforts to categorize commitments in protocols of accession

5.3   Scope of the mapping exercise

5.3.1   Numbers

5.3.2   Substance

5.4   Typology

5.4.1   Category 1: Transitional periods and special and differential treatment

5.4.2   Category 2: Ensuring conformity

5.4.3   Category 3: Implementing WTO obligations and bringing measures into conformity with WTO obligations

5.4.4   Category 4: ‘Allowing other members to do something they would otherwise not be allowed to do’

5.4.5   Category 5: ‘Prohibitions’

5.5   Conclusion

6   Mapping exercise: the results

6.1   Introduction: rules commitments in protocols of accession

6.2   Economic policies

6.3   Framework for making and enforcing policies

6.4   Policies affecting trade in goods

6.4.1   Transitional safeguards

6.4.2   Non-market economy methodologies in anti-dumping investigations

6.4.3   Export duties

6.4.4   State-owned enterprises (SOEs)

6.4.5   Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)

6.4.6   Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS)

6.5   Foreign direct investment

6.5.1   Investment regime

6.5.2   Trading rights

6.5.3   Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMs)

6.6   Trade-Related Intellectual Property Regime

6.7   Policies affecting trade in services

6.8   Transparency

6.9   Trade agreements

6.10  Conclusion

PART IV   CONCLUSION

7   Concluding remarks

7.1   Introduction

7.2   Does the WTO have a multi-tiered membership?

7.3   Lawmaking in protocols of accession

7.4   Protocols of accession in WTO dispute settlement

7.5   Lessons for the future – towards universal membership

7.6   Conclusion

Selected bibliography

Index