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Emerging Countries and WTO Regime. The Dialogical Preference Hypothesis

Puce noire MEHDI ABBAS, maître de conférences, Univ. Grenoble Alpes, PACTE, CNRS , Mehdi Abbas

The article deals with the NAMA-11’s strategy within the WTO multilateral negotiations on the liberalization of non-agricultural goods (NAMA negotiation). As the rise of new trade powers is the main change in the global economic landscape, the article aims to explain the emerging States’ institutional offers and their effects on the WTO multilateral trade regime. Do the emerging economies either endorse or contest the WTO regime ? The analysis shows that the emerging countries’ negotiating strategy leads to a change within the regime and not a change of the regime. The article puts forward the idea of a dialogical institutional offer. The emergence of non-hegemonic powers gives rise to a contradictory process of endorsement of the principles and rules of WTO regime and a contestation of the modalities and mechanisms of WTO governance. Three elements support this argument : suscribtion to WTO ruling doctrine and institutional procedures ; pro-active participation to NAMA negotiation and institutional offers centred on the technical parameters of NAMA negotiation. The article puts forward that these endorsement-contestation institutional offers are the result of the relative gain issue that characterizes the multilateral trade compromises.

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