WTO Principles and Institutions. The Challenge of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs)
University of Heidelberg
In an attempt to treat the aforementioned subjects, this thesis is organizedaccording to the following structure:In the first chapter, 1 analyze the traditional principie of nondiscrimination as a basis for the multilateral trading system; the definition of the MFN Clause; themajor arguments in favor and against it; and its most important exceptions.In the second chapter, 1 examine the main aspects of the current WTO rules applied to regional trade agreements, such as Article XXIV of the GA TI; Article Vof the GATS, and the Enabling Clause.In the third chapter, 1 study the process of multilateralizing regionalism andits relationship with the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism (DSM) and the rolethat could play the WTO Appellate Body. In this part, 1 also try to analyze thesystemic problems produced by the regionalism; the nature and scope of the WTOPius agreements; the current Doha Development Round mandate and its mainsaspects related to RTAs; and the question of the institutional balance of WTOorgans concerning the action of panels and the Appellate Body.In the fourth chapter, 1 investigate the possible conflicts between RTAs andWTO norms, particularly, the legal approaches aimed at dealing with overlapping situations and the recourse to the Vienna Convention.Finally, in the fifth chapter, 1 try to demonstrate that the consensus design ofthe current WTO decision-making process is one of the main causes of the WTOparalysis concerning regionalism. 1 also mention sorne of the most interestingproposals that have been currently tabled.