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Reforming the World Trading SystemLegitimacy, Efficiency, and Democratic Governance$
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Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann and James Harrison

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199282623

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282623.001.0001

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Parliamentary Oversight of WTO Rule-Making: The Political, Normative, and Practical Contexts

Parliamentary Oversight of WTO Rule-Making: The Political, Normative, and Practical Contexts

Chapter:
(p.381) 18 Parliamentary Oversight of WTO Rule-Making: The Political, Normative, and Practical Contexts
Source:
Reforming the World Trading System
Author(s):

Gregory Shaffer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282623.003.0019

This chapter explains that, since the US Congress strongly influences US trade policy, US Congressmen focus on the national level of parliamentary authorization, control, and implementation of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations and rule-making. Inter-parliamentary meetings at the international level are sometimes considered as diminishing, rather than enhancing, US power and US ‘sovereignty’. The chapter suggests that proposals to create a WTO parliamentary body should be judged also in terms of their ability to enhance participation of the majority of less-developed WTO Members and their constituents. Parliamentarians from less-developed WTO Members fear that inter-parliamentary bodies would reinforce the power of developed over less-developed WTO Members in WTO negotiations, for instance because non-governmental organizations from developed countries are in a stronger position to lobby and influence parliamentary bodies. Many parliaments in less-developed countries lack the expertise and resources necessary for effectively influencing WTO negotiations.

Keywords:   US Congress, US trade policy, parliamentary authorization, inter-parliamentary meetings, WTO negotiations

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