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37 J. World Trade 719 (2003)
Developing Countries and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement

handle is hein.kluwer/jwt0037 and id is 729 raw text is: Journal of World Trade 37(4): 719-735, 2003.
© 2003 Kluwer Law International. PNnted in The Netherlands.
Developing Countries and General Agreement on
Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization Dispute
Marc L. BUSCH* and Eric R.EINHARDT**
It has long been observed that developing countries made scant use of dispute
settlement under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Less clear are
the reasons for this. Most observers insist that the various GATT reforms that were
intended to help developing countries failed to insulate them from the power
politics of the system (Kuruvila, 1997). Not surprisingly, many of these same
observers predict that the greater legalism of the World Trade Organization (WTO),
and the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU), in particular, will encourage more
participation by developing countries. Indeed, some go so far as to suggest that, enticed
by a system in which, unlike in the GATT years, right perseveres over might
(Lacarte-Muro and Gappah, 2000, 401), developing countries will have greater
recourse to multilateral dispute settlement. The underlying presumption, of course, is
that developing countries were especially ill-served by GATT's diplomacy, and are
better poised to benefit from the WTO's more legalistic architecture. We argue that
this conventional wisdom is wrong on both counts.
In assessing how developing countries have fared in dispute settlement, two
questions beg empirical attention. First, have developing countries secured more
concessions, by which we mean favourable trade policy outcomes, in WTO versus
GATT dispute settlement? And second, what explains any differences in the outcomes
realized by developing, as opposed to developed countries? Most observers note that
developing countries have, in fact, been more active in WTO dispute settlement. This
greater participation is typically traced to the legal reforms ushered in by the DSU-
notably the right to a Panel and automatic adoption of Panel reports. The argument
is that these reforms have done much to temper the power politics that permeated the
* Associate Professor, Queen's School of Business, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. E-mail
** Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
E-mail: <erein@emory.edu>.
For comments, we thank Karen Alter, Howard Chang, Bill Davey, Andrew Guzman, Rob Howse, Petros
C. Mavroidis, Beth Simmons, Richard Steinberg, and seminar participants at the Advisory Centre on WTO Law,
Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law, and the Swedish International Development Agency. We also thank Alex
Muggah for research assistance. We owe a great debt to Bob Hudec, whose work inspires our own, and who was
a gracious mentor and colleague. Busch thanks the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research for financial support; Eric Reinhardt thanks the University
Research Committee of Emory University.
Copyright 0 2007 by Kluwer Law International. All rights reserved.
No claim asserted to original government works.

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