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Domain-Specific Plurilateral Cooperation As An Alternative To Trade Agreements, Bernard M. Hoekman, Charles F. Sabel Jan 2021

Domain-Specific Plurilateral Cooperation As An Alternative To Trade Agreements, Bernard M. Hoekman, Charles F. Sabel

Faculty Scholarship

At the end of 2017 different groups of WTO members decided to launch talks on four subjects, setting aside the WTO consensus working practice. This paper argues that these ‘joint statement initiatives’ (JSIs) should seek to establish open plurilateral agreements (OPAs) even in instances where the outcome can be incorporated into existing schedules of commitments of participating WTO members. Designing agreements as OPAs provides an institutional framework for collaboration among the responsible national authorities, transparency, mutual review, and learning, as well as alternatives to default WTO dispute settlement procedures which may not be appropriate for supporting cooperation on the matters ...


Insulating A Wto Investment Facilitation Framework From Isds, George A. Bermann, N. Jansen Calamita, Manjiao Chi, Karl P. Sauvant Jan 2020

Insulating A Wto Investment Facilitation Framework From Isds, George A. Bermann, N. Jansen Calamita, Manjiao Chi, Karl P. Sauvant

Faculty Scholarship

The authors identify several ways in which a WTO investment facilitation framework for development can be insulated from investor-state dispute settlement provisions in international investment agreements, and suggest specific formulations in this respect.


Stakeholder Preferences And Priorities For The Next Wto Director General, Matteo Fiorini, Bernard Hoekman, Petros C. Mavroidis, Douglas Nelson, Robert Wolfe Jan 2020

Stakeholder Preferences And Priorities For The Next Wto Director General, Matteo Fiorini, Bernard Hoekman, Petros C. Mavroidis, Douglas Nelson, Robert Wolfe

Faculty Scholarship

The WTO is looking for a new Director-General (DG). What does the trade community think is needed? This paper reports on the results of an expert survey undertaken as part of a research project on global trade governance at the European University Institute to solicit views on what WTO members and the international trade community consider the most important attributes of candidates for the position, as well as views on the substantive policy and institutional reform priorities confronting the WTO – and thus the new DG. The results suggest strong support for someone with managerial and political experience, and a professional ...


Making Sense Of The Arbitrator’S Ruling In Ds 316 Ec And Certain Member States – Measures Affecting Trade In Large Civil Aircraft (Article 22.6-Ec): A Jigsaw Puzzle With (At Least) A Couple Missing Pieces, Petros C. Mavroidis, Kamal Saggi Jan 2020

Making Sense Of The Arbitrator’S Ruling In Ds 316 Ec And Certain Member States – Measures Affecting Trade In Large Civil Aircraft (Article 22.6-Ec): A Jigsaw Puzzle With (At Least) A Couple Missing Pieces, Petros C. Mavroidis, Kamal Saggi

Faculty Scholarship

“The U.S. won a $7.5 Billion award from the World Trade Organization against the European Union, who has for many years treated the USA very badly on Trade due to Tariffs, Trade Barriers, and more. This case going on for years, a nice victory”, tweeted President Trump’s on October 3, 2019. The United States (US) won not only the highest amount of retaliation ever adjudicated in the history of the WTO but also an ongoing right to retaliate on an annual basis until such time as the EU had complied by either removing the subsidies it granted ...


Informing Wto Reform: Dispute Settlement Performance, 1995-2020, Bernard M. Hoekman, Petros C. Mavroidis, Maarja Saluste Jan 2020

Informing Wto Reform: Dispute Settlement Performance, 1995-2020, Bernard M. Hoekman, Petros C. Mavroidis, Maarja Saluste

Faculty Scholarship

This paper presents salient facts on the performance of WTO dispute settlement, using an updated dataset on cases adjudicated between 1992 and mid 2020. The dataset provides a comprehensive compilation of information on WTO disputes, including complainants, respondents and third parties; the substantive matters tabled; the WTO provisions invoked; the claims that are accepted or rejected by adjudicating bodies; the time involved to complete the consultation, panel and appeal (Appellate Body) stages; and the identity of panelists and how they were appointed. We highlight elements of the operation of the system that are salient to WTO reform discussions, while drawing ...


Greening The Wto: Ega, Tariff Concessions And Policy Likeness, Petros C. Mavroidis, Damien J. Neven Jan 2019

Greening The Wto: Ega, Tariff Concessions And Policy Likeness, Petros C. Mavroidis, Damien J. Neven

Faculty Scholarship

This paper considers the APEC and EGA agreements which grant tariff concession through HS classifications beyond the six digit level ("ex outs") in favour of "green" goods and discuss how these initiatives fit into the WTO legal regime. Even if the practical significance of the APEC agreement should not be overestimated as it involves modest tariff concessions over a subset of goods which are not heavily traded, these agreements involve a paradigm shift to the extent that they use tariffs concessions negotiated on a plurilateral basis as a policy instrument to meet public policy concern, instead of making market access ...


Wto Dispute Settlement And The Appellate Body Crisis: Insider Perceptions And Members’ Revealed Preferences, Matteo Fiorini, Bernard M. Hoekman, Petros C. Mavroidis, Maarja Saluste, Robert Wolfe Jan 2019

Wto Dispute Settlement And The Appellate Body Crisis: Insider Perceptions And Members’ Revealed Preferences, Matteo Fiorini, Bernard M. Hoekman, Petros C. Mavroidis, Maarja Saluste, Robert Wolfe

Faculty Scholarship

The WTO dispute settlement system is in crisis, endangering the future of the organization. The proximate reason for alarm is the dwindling number of Appellate Body (AB) members, the result of the United States blocking new appointments as the terms of sitting members expire. The AB crisis usually is presented as the U.S. against the world. In this paper, we report on the results of a survey of WTO Members’ perceptions of the AB and the role it plays (should play) and contrast this with Members’ revealed preferences in their use of the dispute settlement system and their intervention ...


Dissenting Opinions In The Wto Appellate Body: Drivers Of Their Issuance & Implications For The Institutional Jurisprudence, Petros C. Mavroidis, Evan Y. Kim Jan 2018

Dissenting Opinions In The Wto Appellate Body: Drivers Of Their Issuance & Implications For The Institutional Jurisprudence, Petros C. Mavroidis, Evan Y. Kim

Faculty Scholarship

The Appellate Body (AB) of the WTO has issued over 140 reports but only eight separate opinions, four of which are genuinely dissenting. Such paucity, in fact, is the WTO’s implicit tradition inherited from GATT of prioritizing unanimous decisions, hoping they solidify the institution’s legitimacy and countries’ confidence in the system. But at the more individual level, an AB member’s decision to dissent is driven by multiple factors that have implications for the institution’s jurisprudence. First, the factors explain how the symbiotic relationship between an AB member and his or her nominating country – whose interests turn ...


Things Have Changed (Or Have They?): Tariff Protection And Environmental Concerns In The Wto, Petros C. Mavroidis, Damien J. Neven Jan 2018

Things Have Changed (Or Have They?): Tariff Protection And Environmental Concerns In The Wto, Petros C. Mavroidis, Damien J. Neven

Faculty Scholarship

This paper considers the APEC and proposed EGA agreements which grant tariff concession in favor of "green" goods. We find that the practical significance of the APEC agreement should not be overestimated as it involves modest tariff concessions over a subset of goods which are not heavily traded. Still, these agreements involve a paradigm shift to the extent that they use tariffs concessions negotiated on a plurilateral basis as a policy instrument to meet public policy concern, instead of making market access conditional on meeting national regulations. We model the mechanism through which these tariff preferences provide incentives to change ...


Free Markets, State Involvement, And The Wto: Chinese State Owned Enterprises (Soes) In The Ring, Petros C. Mavroidis, Merit E. Jano Jan 2017

Free Markets, State Involvement, And The Wto: Chinese State Owned Enterprises (Soes) In The Ring, Petros C. Mavroidis, Merit E. Jano

Faculty Scholarship

The WTO has struggled with the treatment of nonmarket economies (NMEs). What was a nonissue in the original GATT (because of the homogeneity of participants) became quite an issue with the accession of formally centrally planned economies, which were not transformed to market economies, at least not in the eyes of the incumbents. Contracting this issue has proved to be so far always wanting, and leaving it to adjudicators has not produced good results either. With respect to Chinese SOEs this risks continuing to be an issue, since the contractually agreed deadline (2016) after which China should not be treated ...


International Investment Agreements: Impacts On Climate Change Policies In India, China And Beyond, Lise Johnson, Brooke Güven Nov 2016

International Investment Agreements: Impacts On Climate Change Policies In India, China And Beyond, Lise Johnson, Brooke Güven

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Mitigating and adapting to climate change will require a fundamental reorientation of our global economy as we move away from fossil fuels and transition to a low carbon and climate-resilient world. This reorientation depends on government actions to help catalyze and channel financial flows in new directions and away from business-as-usual practices.

International investment agreements (IIAs) – treaties that now number over 3,000 and have the objective of promoting and protecting cross-border investment flows_could potentially play a key role in these efforts to scale up and (re)direct investments to meet climate change mitigation and adaptation needs. As presently drafted ...


Mfn Clubs And Scheduling Additional Commitments In The Gatt: Learning From The Gats, Bernard Hoekman, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2016

Mfn Clubs And Scheduling Additional Commitments In The Gatt: Learning From The Gats, Bernard Hoekman, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

Scheduling additional commitments for policies affecting trade in goods in the GATT has been plagued by two sources of ambiguity: the treatment of changes introduced unilaterally by members subsequent to an initial commitment, and the treatment of new commitments by WTO members pertaining to nontariff policy measures affecting trade in goods. This is not the case for trade in services, as the GATS makes explicit provision for additional commitments to be scheduled. Neither secondary law, in the form of decisions formally adopted by the WTO membership, nor case law has clarified the situation for trade in goods. This matter is ...


Private Standards And The Wto: Reclusive No More, Petros C. Mavroidis, Robert Wolfe Jan 2016

Private Standards And The Wto: Reclusive No More, Petros C. Mavroidis, Robert Wolfe

Faculty Scholarship

Private standards are increasing in number, and they affect trade, but their status in the WTO remains problematic. Standards-takers are typically countries with little bargaining power, who cannot affect their terms of trade and thus, even if they possess domestic antitrust laws, will find it hard to persuade standard-setters to take account of their interests. Our concern is to bring more of these standards within the normative framework of the trade regime – that is, we worry that these private forms of social order can conflict with the fundamental norms of transparency and non-discrimination. The WTO membership has consumed itself in ...


Dispute Settlement In The Wto: Mind Over Matter, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2016

Dispute Settlement In The Wto: Mind Over Matter, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

The basic point I advocate in this paper is that the WTO Dispute Settlement System aims to curb unilateralism. No sanctions can be imposed, unless if the arbitration process is through, the purpose of which is to ensure that reciprocal commitments entered should not be unilaterally undone through the commission of illegalities. There are good reasons though, to doubt whether practice guarantees full reciprocity. The insistence on calculating remedies prospectively, and not as of the date when an illegality has been committed, and the ensuing losses for everybody that could or could not be symmetric, lend support to the claim ...


The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight: The Not So Magnificent Seven Of The Wto Appellate Body, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2016

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight: The Not So Magnificent Seven Of The Wto Appellate Body, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

The WTO Appellate Body (AB) has produced a volume-wise important body of case law, which is often difficult to penetrate, never mind classify. Howse (2016) has attempted a very lucid taxonomy of the case law using the standard of review as benchmark for it. His conclusion is that the AB is quite cautious when facing nondiscriminatory measures, especially measures relating to the protection of human life and health, while it has adopted a more intrusive (into national sovereignty) standard when dealing with trade measures (like antidumping), which are by definition discriminatory as they concern imports only. In my response, I ...


Competition Policy And Free Trade: Antitrust Provisions In Ptas, Anu Bradford, Tim Buthe Jan 2015

Competition Policy And Free Trade: Antitrust Provisions In Ptas, Anu Bradford, Tim Buthe

Faculty Scholarship

Trade agreements increasingly contain provisions concerning ‘behind-the-border’ barriers to trade, often beyond current World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments (Dur, Baccini and Elsig 2014). Today’s preferential trade agreements (PTAs) may include, for instance, rules regarding ‘technical’ barriers to trade that go beyond the WTO’s Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement), accelerating the replacement of differing national product safety standards with common international standards and thus reducing the trade-inhibiting effect of regulatory measures (Buthe and Mattli 2011; World Trade Organization 2012). Today’s PTAs may also go beyond WTO rules in prohibiting preferences for domestic producers in government ...


Black Cat, White Cat: The Identity Of The Wto Judges, Louise Johannesson, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2015

Black Cat, White Cat: The Identity Of The Wto Judges, Louise Johannesson, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

WTO judges are proposed by the WTO Secretariat and elected to act as ‘judges’ if either approved by the parties to a dispute, or by the WTO Director-General in case no agreement between the parties has been possible. They are typically ‘Geneva crowd’, that is, they are either current or former delegates representing their country before the WTO. This observation holds for both first- as well as second-instance WTO judges (e.g. Panelists and members of the Appellate Body). In that, the WTO evidences an attitude strikingly similar to the GATT. Whereas the legal regime has been heavily ‘legalized’, the ...


Dispute Settlement In The Wto (Mind Over Matter), Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2015

Dispute Settlement In The Wto (Mind Over Matter), Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

The WTO Dispute Settlement System aimed to curb unilateralism by establishing a multilateral process operating under the aegis of the WTO as the exclusive forum for WTO adjudication. Intuitively, one would expect that those negatively affected by the curtailing of their power to unilaterally do justice for themselves, would agree to multilateral resolution of disputes if the established regime could guarantee enforcement of obligations in comparable terms (to unilateral enforcement). In this perspective, respect and guarantee of reciprocal commitments is the key ingredient. Reciprocal commitments entered should not be unilaterally undone through the commission of illegalities. There are good reasons ...


Trading Away Human Rights, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Olivier De Schutter Jan 2014

Trading Away Human Rights, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Olivier De Schutter

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Trade negotiators in Singapore recently failed to finalize a deal on the long-awaited Trans-Pacific Partnership; they will soon have another chance to complete what would be the world’s largest regional free-trade agreement. But, given serious concerns that the TPP will fail to consider important human-rights implications, that is no cause for celebration.


Reaching Out For Green Policies: National Environmental Policies In The Wto Legal Order, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2014

Reaching Out For Green Policies: National Environmental Policies In The Wto Legal Order, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

The WTO does not squarely address the issue of jurisdictional ambit of national policies (affecting trade). And yet, absent some agreement as to what trading nations can and cannot do, the WTO loses much of its effectiveness. In the absence of explicit regulation of the issue in the WTO contract, one would reasonably expect WTO Members to behave in line with the postulates governing allocation of jurisdiction embedded in public international law. WTO practice evidences neither an explicit acceptance nor a refusal of these rules.


A Turquoise Mess: Green Subsidies, Blue Industrial Policy And Renewable Energy: The Case For Redrafting The Subsidies Agreement Of The Wto, Aaron Cosbey, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2014

A Turquoise Mess: Green Subsidies, Blue Industrial Policy And Renewable Energy: The Case For Redrafting The Subsidies Agreement Of The Wto, Aaron Cosbey, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

Canada-Renewable Energy presented the WTO Panel and Appellate Body (AB) with a novel issue: at the heart of the dispute was a measure adopted by the province of Ontario whereby producers of renewable energy would be paid a premium relative to conventional power producers. Some WTO Members complained that the measure was a prohibited subsidy because payments were conditional upon using Canadian equipment for the production of renewable energy. The AB gave them right only in part: it found that a local content requirement had indeed been imposed, but also found that it lacked evidence to determine whether a subsidy ...


Multilateral Environmental Agreements In The Wto: Silence Speaks Volumes, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2013

Multilateral Environmental Agreements In The Wto: Silence Speaks Volumes, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

This study contributes to the debate concerning the appropriate role of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) in in WTO dispute settlement. Its distinguishing feature is that it seeks to address this relationship in light of the reason why the parties have chosen to separate their obligations into two bodies of law without providing an explicit nexus between them. The basic conclusion is that legislators’ silence concerning this relationship should speak volumes to WTO adjudicating bodies: MEAs should not be automatically understood as imposing legally binding obligations on WTO Members, but could be used as sources of factual information.


In The Shadow Of The Dsu: Addressing Specific Trade Concerns In The Wto Sps And Tbt Committees, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis, Erik Wijkström Jan 2013

In The Shadow Of The Dsu: Addressing Specific Trade Concerns In The Wto Sps And Tbt Committees, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis, Erik Wijkström

Faculty Scholarship

The paper argues that focusing only on disputes formally raised in the WTO Dispute Settlement system underestimates the extent of trade conflict resolution within the WTO. Both the SPS and TBT Committees address a significant number of ‘specific trade concerns’ (STCs) that in the overwhelming majority of cases do not become formal disputes. The STCs address differences between Members concerning the conformity of national measures in the SPS and TBT areas with these agreements. It appears as if Committee work on STCs significantly helps defuse potential trade frictions concerning national policies in the covered areas.


Meas In The Wto: Silence Speaks Volumes, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2013

Meas In The Wto: Silence Speaks Volumes, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

This study contributes to the debate concerning the appropriate role of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) in WTO law, and in particular, in WTO dispute settlement. The distinguishing feature of the study is that it seeks to address the relationship between MEAs and WTO law in light of the reason why the parties have chosen to separate their obligations into two bodies of law without providing an explicit nexus between them. The basic conclusion is that legislators’ silence concerning this relationship should speak volumes to WTO adjudicating bodies: MEAs should not be automatically understood as imposing legally binding obligations on WTO ...


One (Firm) Is Not Enough: A Legal-Economic Analysis Of Ec-Fasteners, Chad P. Brown, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2012

One (Firm) Is Not Enough: A Legal-Economic Analysis Of Ec-Fasteners, Chad P. Brown, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

The WTO’s Appellate Body (AB) dealt with a number of issues for the first time in the Report of EC-Fasteners. Importantly, the AB discussed the consistency of the European Union (EU) regulation with the multilateral rules on the conditions for deviating from the obligation to calculate individual dumping margins. Although China formally won the argument, the AB may have opened the door to treat China as a non-market economy (NME) even beyond 2016 when China’s NME-status was thought to expire under the terms of China’s 2001 WTO Accession Protocol. The AB further dealt with numerous other issues ...


Arbitrating Trade Disputes (Who's The Boss?), Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2012

Arbitrating Trade Disputes (Who's The Boss?), Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

World Trade Organization (“WTO”) dispute settlement has attracted a lot of interest over the years and there is a plethora of academic papers focusing on various aspects of this system. Paradoxically, there is little known about the identity of the WTO judges: since, at the end of the day, the WTO has evolved into the busiest forum litigating state-to-state disputes. There are many writings regarding the appointment process in other international tribunals. At the risk of doing injustice to many papers on this issue, we should mention the following works: Terris et al. look at various courts and especially those ...


Free Lunches? Wto As Public Good, And The Wto's View Of Public Goods, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2012

Free Lunches? Wto As Public Good, And The Wto's View Of Public Goods, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

The WTO can be viewed as a public good in that it provides a forum for negotiations which also produces the necessary legal framework to act as a support for agreed liberalization. To avoid any misunderstandings, in this article the discussion focuses on the WTO as a forum and a set of agreements, not on free trade. Since the legal agreements coming under its aegis are for good reasons incomplete, the WTO provides an additional public good by ‘completing’ the original contract through case law. The importance of this feature increases over time as tariffs are driven towards irrelevance. In ...


The Legal And Economic Principles Of World Trade Law: National Treatment, Gene M. Grossman, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2012

The Legal And Economic Principles Of World Trade Law: National Treatment, Gene M. Grossman, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

The primary objective of most trade agreements is to restrain members' use of trade policies for protectionist purposes. But it would be pointless to restrict the application of border instruments without regulating the possible use of domestic policies for protectionist purpose. To this end, most agreements include an obligation for National Treatment (NT) of foreign products. The NT provision in the GATT appears in Art. III, which applies to most government actions that have impact trade. It requires that imported products be treated as favorably by domestic policy as similar, indigenous products. This study offers suggestions based on legal and ...


The Wto Dispute Settlement System 1995-2010: Some Descriptive Statistics, Henrik Horn, Louise Johannesson, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2011

The Wto Dispute Settlement System 1995-2010: Some Descriptive Statistics, Henrik Horn, Louise Johannesson, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

The Dispute Settlement (DS) system is a central feature of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement. This compulsory and binding two-level mechanism for the adjudication of disputes between WTO Members is the most active among international courts. The functioning of the DS system has attractive research interest among both lawyers and economists. This paper reports some descriptive statistics of the working of the DS system based on the recently updated Horn and Mavroidis WTO Dispute Settlement Data Set. The data set covers all 426 WTO disputes initiated through the official filing of a Request for Consultations from January 1, 1995 ...


L'Interprétation Systémique: Le Liant Du Droit International, Giovanni Distefano, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2011

L'Interprétation Systémique: Le Liant Du Droit International, Giovanni Distefano, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

Systemic Interpretation in International and WTO Law: The Glue of the International Legal Order

The authors endeavour to emphasis the paramount role of systemic interpretation, provided for and codified in Article 31 (3) c) of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, in the light of both general international and WTO Law. This short essay ultimately leads to the confirmation that this hermeneutics method accrues by all means to the cementation of the international legal order.