Book Review: Michael Fakhri, Sugar and the Making of International Trade Law (2014)
110 American Journal of International Law 415 (2016)
8 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2016
Date Written: August 26, 2016
This piece reviews the book Sugar and the Making of International Trade Law by Michael Fakhri (Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014). The main thesis of Michael Fakhri, a professor of international trade and food law at the University of Oregon, is that international law fundamentally contributed in the transformation of a simple plant into a global product. With a fine use of history, he explores the role of three international treaties in the expansion of sugar industrial interests: the 1902 Brussels Convention and two international commodity agreements — the 1937 and 1977 International Sugar Agreements (ISAs). Each case study is revealing in and of itself, but combined the three complement each other to tell a compelling narrative of the creation of a modern trading system as a tale of industrial-versus-agricultural interests and North-versus-South perspectives. It leaves us with a better appreciation of trade law’s history beyond the conventional account told around the World Trade Organization (WTO), a perspective that tends to ignore "that modern trade law has its origins at the end of the nineteenth century within the context of imperialism — a context most relevant to developing countries."
Keywords: international trade law history, sugar, Brussels Convention, International Sugar Agreements, World Trade Organization
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