Bilateralism under the World Trade Organization


This paper addresses fundamental issues in the legal framework for international trade today, namely the proliferation of bilateralism under the multilateral framework of the GATT/WTO system. The GATT/WTO system requires non-discriminatory treatment in trade relations among all nations, but bilateral/regional trade arrangements that provide exclusive trade preferences have increased in recent years. This paper examines the consistency of these bilateral/regional arrangements with the requirements of WTO disciplines and explores the ways to achieve convergence between bilateralism and multilateralism in international trade today.


International Trade Law

Date of this Version

July 2005