The Genesis of the GATT


The Genesis of the GATT


Publication Date



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.

  • First book that discusses in detail the property rights of the GATT – in the sense of which countries were responsible for which provisions – and examines the influence that the then prevailing economic theory had had on the negotiation of the GATT


International Law | International Trade Law | Law | Law and Economics


ISBN 9780521515610


Cambridge University Press


New York, NY


"...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


Also available as an eBook through the Columbia University Libraries.

The Genesis of the GATT

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