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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Global trade law: challenges and options for Africa
Author:Fasan, OluISNI
Year:2003
Periodical:Journal of African Law
Volume:47
Issue:2
Pages:143-173
Language:English
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:WTO
international law
commercial law
international trade
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/30038561
Abstract:The Uruguay Round of trade negotiations, completed in 1994, has fundamentally transformed the legal landscape of the world trading system, making the WTO arguably the most powerful international economic institution in the world. Developing countries, hitherto excluded from GATT rules, became subject to expanded WTO legal rules and disciplines on a range of new areas, including services, intellectual property rights and investment measures. Clearly, the increasing legalization and internationalization of trade rules have implications for weak States. International legalization involves sophisticated bargaining where power relations play a significant role. The purpose of this article is to explore, in the context of some of the theories of international law and political economy, how the preferences and interests of African countries are reflected in international rule making that involves both weak and powerful States. The article traces the institutional and legal evolution of the world trading system and how Africa has been affected by these developments. The new Doha agenda, which includes possible negotiations on new rules dealing with investment, competition policy, trade facilitation, and transparency in government procurement, is examined with a view to establishing whether it holds out any real hope of redressing the imbalances in the system. Finally, suggestions are made as to how global trade rules can be fair, and therefore made to work, for poor States. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]
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