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Reconstructing the World Trade Organization for the 21st CenturyAn Institutional Approach$
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Kent Jones

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199366040

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199366040.001.0001

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Regional vs. Multilateral Trade Liberalization

Regional vs. Multilateral Trade Liberalization

Chapter:
(p.157) 6 Regional vs. Multilateral Trade Liberalization
Source:
Reconstructing the World Trade Organization for the 21st Century
Author(s):

Kent Jones

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199366040.003.0006

The number of regional trade agreements (RTAs) has grown sharply in recent years, and they are the main alternative to World Trade Organization (WTO) trade agreements. RTAs are inherently discriminatory and are therefore discouraged by the GATT/WTO system, which rests on the most-favored nation clause. However, RTAs have co-existed with this system and may even be instrumental in motivating broader and deeper trade liberalization. Despite the problems they present to a multilateral trading system, RTAs are here to stay, and the growth and spread of regional supply chains has reinforced their popularity. Numerous large RTAs have sprung from the failed Doha Round, especially in the Pacific region. RTAs will contribute to broader trade liberalization if they are larger, deeper, and open to further integration into global markets.

Keywords:   World Trade Organization, WTO, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, GATT, Doha Round, regional trade agreements, RTA, trade liberalization, supply chain

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