Regionalism as a Means to Stabilize the WTO Trading System

Dr. Sideek Mohamed Seyad
Associate Professor of EU Financial and Trade Law
Faculty of Law – University of Stockholm – Sweden


International trade law should adapt itself to the dynamic changes in the global trading system. It is only when the laws are not refined to such changes some countries tend to take unilateral measures to either promote or protect their respective markets for example by means of imposing punitive tariffs. Such measures may inevitably lead to counter measures being adopted by the affected party. If more and more countries resort to adopting such unilateral disruptive trade measures and counter measures, it may seriously undermine and threaten the dynamics and stability of the multilateral trade system. A case study approach will be adopted in this paper examine the nature of trade tensions that exist among the world’s three largest economies, United States, Peoples Republic of China and the European Union in order to highlight the current challenges facing the multilateral trading system.
The underlying objective of my paper is thus to examine and identify the shortcomings in the current legal regime regulating the international trading system. Apart from examining the extent to which the World Trade Organization rules could be amended or refined, the paper will also argue that the establishment of regional organizations such as the European Union and further strengthening of trade relations among the member countries such as the League of Arab States may be a useful prescription in order to eliminate or at least minimize the tension that regularly arises in the multilateral trading system.

Keywords: European Union, World Trade Organization, Trade law, Regional integration, Financial and fiscal crisis.

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