Robert W. Staiger and Alan O. Sykes
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The “non-violation” clause was a major focus of the drafters of GATT in 1947, and its relevance was reaffirmed with the creation of the WTO. And according to the terms-of- trade theory of trade agreements, it underpins the success of the GATT/WTO’s “shallow integration” approach. Yet in GATT/WTO practice the observed performance of the non-violation complaint has been weak. We develop a model of non-violation claims in trade agreements, demonstrate that it can account for the observed performance of non- violation claims, and show that this weak performance is not inconsistent with a valuable role for the non-violation clause in the GATT/WTO.
Cite: Robert W. Staiger and Alan O. Sykes, How Important Can the Non-Violation Clause be for the GATT/WTO?, IILJ Working Paper 2013/5.