Free Markets and Social Regulation:A Reform Agenda of the Global Trading System Toward a New International Economic Law
Kluwer Law International B.V., 2003 M01 1 - 217 pages
Discussion of trade barriers has come round-inevitably it seems-to national regimes of regulatory protection. As the author of this important analysis writes: "Global free trade is hard to imagine under circumstances in which each country seeks to regulate domestic social affairs in its own way, without regard to international norms." Indeed, state regulation has the potential to undermine the very legitimacy of the global trading system. A compelling reconciliation between these two paramount values is essential.
Free Markets and Social Regulation: A Reform Agenda of the Global Trading System has a twofold purpose: to consider what has so far been accomplished in this vital mission in the field of international economic law, and to prescribe some solutions to continuing problems. This latter endeavour amounts to a coherent and integrated plan that will enhance the acceptability of free markets to governments, traders, and other stakeholders alike. The challenges analyzed in depth here include the following: the late development in the global trade regime of non-trade policy objectives, which still tend to be treated as mere exceptions to general obligations; the built-in emphasis on products rather than measures ; the novel risks associated with the development of modern technology; the case-by-case approach of WTO jurisprudence, which generally fails to investigate whether the substance of any given domestic regulation is necessary to the policy goals of the state in question; and the "technical and economic feasibility" of complying with international trade obligations. The author conducts his analysis in a broad context encompassing the WTO system, the European Union, and the North American Free Trade Agreement. He finds that the clash, despite the particular institutional characteristics of these various organizations, is a major concern of them all. The jus gentium of international trade, he offers, is an imperative combining the good faith principle with the communitarian duty to cooperate. Exactly how to go about ordering this imperative is what this book is about. Its clear focus on an urgent problem in the development of the global trading system will capture the attention of all practitioners and students of international economic law.
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The result of the chapeau test was to safeguard the Members' regulatory autonomy in that it acknowledged the legitimacy–namely, the necessity or relatedness–of a given domestic regulation to its policy goals. Even if the measure turned ...
which prevents Members' abuse of regulatory competence, represents `general principles of law,' which are most often ... on establishing an integrated global marketplace while guaranteeing the regulatory autonomy of each Member.
That is to say, Members must meticulously incorporate their international obligations into their respective domestic regimes, in addition to executing the changes prescribed by individual panel and the Appellate Body reports.
Rather, the exceptions have been converted to autonomous rights of the Members, on the basis of which the latter may pursue legitimate policy objectives, such as the protection of human health or the environment.
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