The puzzle of WTO safeguards and regional trade agreements

26/08/2008 12:00 - 1322 total view

Foost Pauwelyn


So far WTO jurisprudence has not resolved the puzzle of howWTO Members that are part also of a regional trade agreement (such as NAFTA orMERCOSUR) should conduct safeguard investigations and apply eventual safeguardsin line with WTO rules. Can or must they exclude regional imports from theinjury determination? Can or must they apply the eventual safeguard only tothird parties, or are they under an obligation rater to apply all safeguards ona non-discriminatory basis? Those are the questions examined in this paper. Thepaper refocuses some of the attention to GATT Article XIX and criticizes theAppellate Body’s requirement of parallelism as well as its jurisprudence underGATT Article XXIV. It also offers an alternative way forward and ends with alist of options for WTO safeguards by members of customs unions or free tradeareas.