The Allocation of Agricultural Tariff Rate Quotas among Supplying Countries under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
14 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2013
Date Written: May 30, 2013
This paper examines the allocation of Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs) among supplying countries under Article XIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Showing through an analysis of the jurisprudence that Article XIII operates as a non-discrimination provision, it is argued that a textual reading of the objects of Article XIII:2 GATT must then be read in the light of the overall objective of non-discrimination between all contracting parties that is set out in Article XIII. An analysis of paragraph 2 which results in a static interpretation would mean that Members could discriminate by fixing allocations and leaving them untouched for many years. The effect of a static interpretation would be to fossilise trade patterns and not to allow for the dynamic effects of changes in comparative advantage that a tariff based market protection system, and Article I GATT, is designed to achieve. It concludes that a proper interpretation of Article XIII requires WTO Members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to regularly re-examine the allocations of TRQs among supplying countries so as to comply with the ‘chapeau’ of Article XIII:2 GATT.
Keywords: Agricultural Tariff Rate Quotas, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
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