The role of the World Trade Organisation’s Committee on Regional Trade Agreements, between 1996 and 2010

PhD Thesis

Nnorom, A. 2017. The role of the World Trade Organisation’s Committee on Regional Trade Agreements, between 1996 and 2010. PhD Thesis University of East London Business and Law
AuthorsNnorom, A.
TypePhD Thesis

This paper looks at the role of the Committee on Regional Trade Agreements (CRTA) in its examination of regional trade agreements (RTAs) between 1996 and 2010. The rapid proliferation of RTAs led to concerns about the weakening of the multilateral trading system (MTS); it was feared that the rapid growth in the number of bilateral and regional trade agreements (RTAs), such as free trade areas (FTAs) and custom unions (CUs) could pose substantial threats to the multilateral trade system (MTS). This fear led to the creation of the CRTA by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in February 1996, for the examination of RTAs to ascertain their compatibility to the MTS and their conformity to WTO rules. Furthermore, this paper also explores the legal and systemic difficulties faced by the CRTA in the execution of its mandated duties. Nonetheless, the rapid proliferation of RTAs intensified the debate on the merits of RTAs to the MTS, this study, is also a contribution to that debate - the trade creation and trade diversion effects of RTAs, by showing how RTAs could displace trade with non-member nations, while at the same time boosting trade among its own members. Under the auspices of the WTO, as a general rule, the CRTA was to devote a single formal meeting for the consideration of each and every RTA notified to the WTO, formed under the provisions of the general agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT) Article XXIV and the general agreement on trade in (GATS) Article V. The focus of this paper is the role of the CRTA in its examination of RTAs created under the legal provisions and interpretation of GATT Article XXIV and GATS Article V.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
Print25 Apr 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Sep 2017
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