It’s a Question of Market Access

Mavroidis, Petros C.; Bagwell, Kyle; Staiger, Robert W.

In this paper, we argue that market access issues associated with the question of the optimal mandate of the World Trade Organization should be separated from nonmarket access issues. We identify race-to-the-bottom and regulatory-chill concerns as market access issues and suggest that the WTO should address these concerns. We then describe ways that WTO principles and procedures might be augmented to do so. As for nonmarket access issues, we argue that as a general matter these are best handled outside the WTO, and that, while implicit links might be encouraged, explicit links between the WTO and other labor and environmental organizations should not as a general matter be forged. We view this as a measured approach to labor and the environment within the WTO.


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The American Journal of International Law

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December 15, 2015