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International Trade Legislation

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Chapter Summary

The World Trade Organization (WTO) currently addresses trade issues at the international level, including those involving public health and the integration of genetically modified organism (GMOs) into global commerce. Regulation in these areas affects international trade significantly, since trade is the main mechanism for the spread of infectious disease and GMOs throughout the global community. The Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization creates a single institutional framework encompassing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 and the complete results of the Uruguay Round. The WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (the TBT Agreement) establishes rules and procedures for the development, adoption, and application of voluntary and mandatory product standards and procedures. The Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement delineates the basic rules for food safety and animal and plant health standards in international trade.

Keywords: GATT; genetically modified organism (GMOs); international trade; Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement; TBT agreement; World Trade Organization (WTO)



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