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Developing Countries in the WTO Legal System$
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Joel P. Trachtman and Chantal Thomas

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383614

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383614.001.0001

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Dysfunction, Diversion, and the Debate Over Preferences

Dysfunction, Diversion, and the Debate Over Preferences

(How) do Preferential Trade Policies Work?

Developing Countries in the WTO Legal System

Jeffrey L Dunoff

Oxford University Press

Robert Hudec's Developing Countries in the GATT System makes at least two important contributions to the trade literature. First, it provides an authoritative history of the debate over preferential treatment for developing states. Second, it offers an influential analysis of the effects of preferences. Hudec rejects the conventional wisdom that preferential treatment disserves developing states because a policy of reciprocity would produce greater concessions from developed states. He argues that, given the economic disparities between developed and developing states, reciprocity by developing states is unlikely to produce greater access to developed state markets. This chapter explores what we know about preferences and how we know it. It also explores whether juxtaposing alternative methodological approaches can suggest a progressive research agenda designed to enhance our understandings of how preferences work and, in particular, their effects on developing states.

Keywords:   preferential treatment, Robert Hudec, developing countries, preferences, research agenda

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