Date: September 22, 2004
Creator: Grimmett, Jeanne J. & Tatelman, Todd B.
Description: World Trade Organization (WTO) Members must grant immediate and unconditional most-favored-nation (MFN) treatment to the products of other Members with respect to tariffs and other trade matters. Free trade agreements (FTA) are facially inconsistent with this obligation because they grant countries who are party to the agreement the ability to receive more favorable trade benefits than those extended to other trading partners. Due to the prevailing view that such arrangements are trade enhancing, Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) contains a specific exception for FTAs. The growing number of regional trade agreements, however, has made it difficult for the WTO to efficiently monitor the consistency of FTAs with the provided exemption. This report examines this issue.
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