From S&D Treatment to S&D Agreement Under Thewto: Developing Friendlier Global Goverance of Trade for Developing Countries
Asian Journal of WTO & International Health Law and Policy, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 26-43, February 2006
21 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2007
Since developing Members of the WTO are diverse in their positions and concerns, it would not be possible to form unified views for these countries on all issues. However, the need of S&D treatment for developing Members should be the same. The WTO has made a lot of effort to discuss and incorporate S&D provisions in different agreements. However, it has not yet engaged in significant efforts to consider the integration of S&D treatment and set more general rules for making S&D treatment more effective. In the meantime, S&D treatment becomes eroded when tariffs are lowered, and the single undertaking becomes an important part of trade negotiations.
In order to effectively deal with the situations and to help developing countries be able to engage in international trade, the paper suggests the formulation of a S&D agreement with a safeguard mechanism for development purposes on the one hand and a mechanism to review the plans submitted by developed Members for the purpose of implementing the S&D obligations and to extend the current non-reciprocity principle and the Enabling Clause to other fields, on the other hand.
The S&D agreement, with certain mechanisms suggested in this paper, is only to supplement the current S&D treatment. In other words, if the current S&D treatment is still valid, the S&D agreement would not affect the effectiveness of such treatments. However, if there is no S&D available under the current rules, developing Members can resort to rights under S&D to cope with their development problems and to increase their income and their competitiveness.
Keywords: S&D treatment, S&D agreement, global governance, enabling clause
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