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Between Law and DiplomacyThe Social Contexts of Disputing at the World Trade Organization$
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Joseph Conti

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804771436

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804771436.001.0001

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The World Trading System

The World Trading System

From GATT to WTO

Chapter:
(p.24) Chapter Two The World Trading System
Source:
Between Law and Diplomacy
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804771436.003.0002

This chapter provides background and context on the historical development of the WTO. The history of the GATT/WTO system is marked by the changing role and status of law and legal practice. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) began as primarily a diplomatic forum for negotiating and renegotiating trade concessions. Over time, legal practices were developed as ad hoc solutions for novel problems and changing circumstances. The chapter also examines the human scale of trade negotiation and disputing. Most narratives about the history of the GATT/WTO focus on macroeconomic and political contexts and interests.

Keywords:   GATT, legalization, trade negotiation, disputing

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