Commentaries on World Trade Law Online

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General Editors: Peter-Tobias Stoll and Holger P. Hestermeyer

Commentaries on World Trade Law Online is a comprehensive, standard reference work on WTO Law. The Commentaries explain the provisions of the WTO Agreements article by article, setting out the interpretation of each article in the case law, in practice and in scholarly writing.

Building on the leading reference, Max Planck Commentaries on World Trade Law, this fully revised and updated second edition brings together the writings of  a team of more than 100 of the world’s leading scholars, practitioners and former members of the Appellate Body. The contents are extensively hyperlinked to source documents, cross-referenced and indexed.

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Preamble General Agreement on Trade in Services

(6,146 words)

Author(s): Hestermeyer, Holger | Stauffer, Anna
HOLGER HESTERMEYER & ANNA STAUFFER   PREAMBLE GENERAL AGREEMENT ON TRADE IN SERVICES Members, Recognizing the growing importance of trade in services for the growth and development of the world economy; Wishing to establish a multilateral framework of principles and rules for trade in services with a view to the expansion of such trade under conditions of transparency and progressive liberalization and as a means of promoting the economic growth of all trading partners and the development of developing countries; Desiring the early achievement of progressively higher levels…

Preamble TRIPS

(10,198 words)

Author(s): Riffel, Christian
CHRISTIAN RIFFEL   Preamble Members, Members to reduce distortions and impediments to international trade, and taking into account the need to promote effective and adequate protection of intellectual property rights, and to ensure that measures and procedures to enforce intellectual property rights do not themselves become barriers to legitimate trade; Recognizing, to this end, the need for new rules and disciplines concerning: the applicability of the basic principles of GATT 1994 and of relevant international intellectual property agreements or conventions; the provision…

Preamble WTO Agreement

(3,390 words)

Author(s): Stoll, Peter-Tobias | Wanner, Laura
PETER-TOBIAS STOLL & LAURA WANNER   AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION Preamble WTO Agreement The Parties to this Agreement, Recognizing that their relations in the field of trade and economic endeavour should be conducted with a view to raising standards of living, ensuring full employment and a large and steadily growing volume of real income and effective demand, and expanding the production of and trade in goods and services, while allowing for the optimal use of the world’s resources in accord…

Preface to the Series

(353 words)

Author(s): Stoll, Peter-Tobias | Hestermeyer, Holger P.
The establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, was a watershed moment in the development of the multilateral trading system as a rules-based system. The rules of the WTO Agreement and not least the reports handed down in the WTO’s dispute settlement proceedings clarifying those rules have provided increased security and predictability for the multilateral trading system to the benefit of Members, traders and consumers. The WTO’s extensive rulebook has been applied and interpret…

Preface to this Volume

(544 words)

Author(s): Wagner, Markus
Non-tariff barriers have long overtaken tariff barriers as the focal points of governmental interventions in international trading relations and as a matter of WTO law. This development towards greater prominence of non-tariff barriers was already evident prior to the creation of the WTO through various plurilateral codes on matters as varied as trade remedies (anti-dumping, subsidies and safeguards) as well as various subject specific codes. One of these subject matters was the 1979 Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (Document code LT/TR/A/5), often referred to as the…

Preface to this Volume

(461 words)

Author(s): Wanner, Laura Luise
When the previous edition of these Commentaries was published over 15 years ago, the overall sentiment towards the WTO was generally rather positive. Even though some difficulties did surface early on, when the Ministerial Conferences in Seattle and Cancun failed, the establishment of the WTO and especially its uniform and binding dispute settlement system was considered a success story. The WTO was seen as having a positive impact on the international economic development and the international …

Preface to this Volume

(385 words)

Author(s): Abel, Patrick
Services have accounted for a substantial part of the total global trade volume for a long time. The tertiary sector of the economy is quite diverse. Some branches are known to be particularly dynamic, for example IT and telecommunications. Others are essential to everyone’s personal life, such as health and social services – or indispensable to the functioning of trade in goods, such as transport and financial services. One of the most important innovations of the WTO was the introduction of rules for the liberalization of trade in services through the multilat…