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The Genesis of the GATT (The American Law Institute Reporters Studies on WTO Law) [Paperback]

Douglas A. Irwin , Petros C. Mavroidis , Alan O. Sykes
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

May 29, 2009 0521142067 978-0521142069 1
This book is part of a wider project that aims to propose a model GATT that makes good economic sense without undoing its current basic structure. It asks: What does the historical record indicate about the aims and objectives of the framers of the GATT? To what extent does the historical record provide support for one or more of the economic rationales for the GATT? The book supports that the two main framers of the GATT were the United Kingdom and the United States; developing countries' influence was noticeable only after the mid-1950s. The framers understood the GATT as a pro-peace instrument; however, they were mindful of the costs of achieving such a far-reaching objective and were not willing to allocate them disproportionately. This may explain why their negotiations were based on reciprocal market access commitments so that the terms of trade were not unevenly distributed or affected through the GATT.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...Irwin (Darthmouth College, Free Trade Under Fire, CH, Mar'03, 40-4109), Mavroidis (Columbia Law School), and Sykes (Stanford Law School) provide an informative historical account of the creation and evolution of the GATT, which is a cornerstone of of the economic architecture after WW II was intended to establish a rules-based system in the trade sector to parallel the rules-based IMF structure in monetary system...excellent bibliography...Highly Recommended..."
--I. Walter, New York University, CHOICE

Book Description

This book is part of a wider project that aims to propose a model GATT that makes good economic sense without undoing its current basic structure. The central question is, What does the historical record indicate about the aims and objectives of the framers of the GATT?

Product Details

  • Series: The American Law Institute Reporters Studies on WTO Law
  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (May 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521142067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521142069
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,618,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's hard to know what the authors of this book were thinking when they slapped it together. Part of it is a history (including the prehistory) of the 1945-47 GATT negotiations; this section will disappoint diplomatic historians because of its superficiality and lack of political context. Another part is a history of the GATT text (yes, the text) through 1965; trade lawyers will find this section too skimpy to be of real value. Still another part is a survey of international relations literature that aims to explain why countries sign multilateral trade agreements; one's response to this material will depend on what one thinks of IR theories in general. There is also a collection of primary documents from 1941-47; these, admittedly, might be of interest to researchers. Overall, this "book" is a dreadful mishmash. I suspect the different sections were originally prepared as papers for an academic conference on the GATT. Not recommended.
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