A European Perspective
Edited by Alberta Fabbricotti
Chapter 13: The Political Economy of Regional Trade Agreements
This Chapter re-elaborates under the lens of PE an IL argument already developed by the author and explaining the proliferation of Regional Trade Agreements in spite of and in conflict with the WTO rules (particularly art. XXIV GATT). According to this IL argument, such a widespread deviation from the WTO legal order testifies and confirms the existence of a customary rule consisting in a waiver benefiting the creation and operation of preferential bilateral and regional trade partnerships. From a PE perspective, such a non-written waiver (if using a legal language) corresponds to the usual dynamics of international trade, where the behaviour of States (and interest groups behind the scenes) is simply motivated by their preferences (which are multifaceted and not simply ascribable to economic and market bargain).
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