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Commenting on the papers in this symposium is paradoxically a difficult task. The authorsare remarkably distinguished and one can only learn from what they write. Indeed, I have learned much from them (especially from Dean David Leebron's splendid clarification of several aspects of linkage, a paper that shows that he should have been an Oxford philosopher if only he had not been such a successful legal scholar). Yet it is easy for an invited commentator to be overwhelmed by despair because the authors write for the most part as if in a research vacuum. There is little attempt at relating what they write to the enormous literature on the problem of linkage.

Nearly a decade ago, Professor Robert Hudec and I in fact pioneered the scholarly study of linkage, under the auspices of the American Society of International Law, whose flagship journal is carrying this symposium. But search the symposium even for references to one or both of the massive and widely reviewed and cited volumes that we edited as a result of this project, Fair Trade and Harmonization: Prerequisitesfor Free Trade?, and one finds scarce pickings. Nor is there serious and integrating reference to the vast literature that has grown up since and can be found in several Journal articles and volumes of essays.


International Trade Law | Law


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