Are Global Trading Rules Passé?: Trade Anachronism and Its Discontents
Chicago Kent College of Law
Brooklyn Law School
June 20, 2012
Virginia Journal of International Law, Vol. 53, 2013
Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 301
Society of International Economic Law (SIEL), 3rd Biennial Global Conference
This Article probes previously under-explored failure of the world trading rules to keep abreast with the global marketplace. It argues that the global trading system, despite its well-documented contribution to the spectacular expansion of postwar trade, has never in fact fully moved away from the mercantilist past; its mono-linear conception of production and trading patterns; and its state centric, top-down paradigm of rule making. The inevitable anachronism precipitated by the out of date trading rules structure is seriously ill-suited to the contemporary non-territorial international business transactions defined by global supply chains. Consequently, while the trading rules officially seek to help facilitate trade consistent with the theory of comparative advantage, they often entail diametrically opposite effects, i.e., clogging the arteries of global commerce. The Article concludes that trade networks may signify a new way of understanding international trade by breaking the artificially defined disciplinary frame between international trade law as embodied in the state centered top-down rules of trade and the business level solutions which emerge from epistemic communities trying to find practical tools to confront complex problems.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 39
Keywords: Global trading rules, World trading rules, Global marketplace, Mercantilism, Trade networks, Transfer pricing networks, Trade statistics networks, Free trade
JEL Classification: F02, F10, F20, F30, F40Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 20, 2012 ; Last revised: May 1, 2013
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