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Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade

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Chapter Summary

Nowhere in the TBT Agreement is the term preamble employed. Nonetheless, the Appellate Body in its jurisprudence has referred to the TBT Agreement's introductory clauses as the preamble to the TBT Agreement. The TBT Agreement owes its existence to a large degree to the earlier failure of the GATT legal regime to cope with undesired and welfare-decreasing technical barriers to trade. However, the Preamble goes further than referring to the Uruguay Round and the objectives of GATT. On a general level, positive integration through the cooperation of WTO Members and the recognition and adoption of international standards is offered as the best suitable solution to the fragmentation of world markets. Harmonization may involve the creation of an entirely new standard, the adoption of the standard of the most in influential participant in the arrangement or the adoption of the most reasonable standard.

Keywords: Agreement; GATT; harmonization; international standards; TBT agreement; technical barriers; WTO members



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