PTAs and Public International Law
in Simon Lester and Bryan Mercurio (eds), Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements: Commentary and Analysis (Cambridge University Press, 2009) 114-139
16 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2015
Date Written: 2009
In this chapter, we examine three significant areas in which public international law interacts with Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs): first, how various forms of public international law affect the interpretation of PTA provisions; second, the related issue of how PTAs contribute to customary international law and the extent to which customary international law applies to PTAs; and finally, how to resolve conflicts between PTAs and other treaties. This final section examines both substantive conflicts and problems arising from overlapping jurisdictions of PTA tribunals and other international tribunals. This survey illustrates the complex web of links between PTAs and public international law and the readiness of PTA tribunals, particularly under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), to draw on other sources of international law in interpreting PTA provisions and otherwise determining PTA disputes. At the same time, no clear answers emerge about how to best deal with the likelihood of ever increasing conflicts between PTAs and other treaties.
Keywords: Preferential Trade Agreements, public international law, treaty, customary international law
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