Beyond Special and Differential Treatment

29 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2005


Developing country concern over awed special and differential treatment (S&D) provisions has already contributed to the failed Seattle and Cancun WTO Ministerial Meetings. In order to succeed, the current WTO Doha Development Round must go beyond simply reforming existing S&D provisions, important as that is. Developing countries must re-focus WTO trade and development policy around the twin goals of development and fairness. Developing countries need a comprehensive agreement on S&D clarifying that development, not trade liberalization, is the number one economic policy goal of developing countries, and that fairness, not charity, is the basis for development. Such an agreement should also establish adequate domestic policy space for minimally-distorting development policies; create binding and unconditional preferential market access; provide adequate time to implement complex new trade agreements; create truly "precise, effective and operational" S&D provisions; and adequately fund technical assistance.

Keywords: developing countries, special and differential treatment provisions, S&D provisions, WTO, trade policy, trade agreements, development policy, trade liberalization, economic development

Suggested Citation

Garcia, Frank Joseph, Beyond Special and Differential Treatment. Boston College International and Comparative Law Review, Vol. 27, pp. 291-317, 2004; Boston College Law School Research Paper No. 86. Available at SSRN:

Frank Joseph Garcia (Contact Author)

Boston College - Law School ( email )

885 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02459-1163
United States

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