Volume 48 (2014) / Issue 2
Gabrielle Marceau, Joel P. Trachtman, 'A Map of the World Trade Organization Law of Domestic Regulation of Goods: The Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade' (2014) 48 Journal of World Trade, Issue 2, pp. 351–432
The search for an appropriate balance between trade liberalization and regulatory autonomy lies at the heart of the WTO system. In this paper, the authors examine the relationship between three WTO Agreements regulating trade in goods - the GATT 1994, the SPS Agreement, and the TBT Agreement - and explore how these treaties, individually and together, define the sphere of domestic regulatory autonomy in the context of the multilateral trading system. Drawing on new Appellate Body jurisprudence, including the recent TBT 'trilogy', this article provides a 'map' of WTO regulation of trade in goods and sheds light on the types of rules and standards contained in each Agreement, their relationship to domestic regulation and the regulatory process, and the way they incorporate by reference norms outside of the WTO system. The article also discusses the bases for invoking each Agreement and evaluates the circumstances in which they may overlap.
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