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Title: A legal analysis of the application of Articles I and III of the GATT 1994 on the economic development of ECOWAS member states
Author: Ogbonna, Joseph Ifeanyichukwu
ISNI:       0000 0004 2731 0631
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2012
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This dissertation examines the tension inherent in the relationship between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as Member States Parties of the GATT/WTO and the GATT/WTO regime. It focuses specifically on the tension triggered off by the requirements of Article I – the Most-Favoured-Nation principle (MFN) and Article III – the National Treatment principle (NT) GATT 1994. It shows that while the non-discrimination principles are meant to promote trade liberalisation and economic growth, they produce the opposite effect in developing and least developed countries like ECOWAS and aggravate the tension between those countries and the WTO. It argues that the MFN is used to deny market access to the developing countries by exposing them to stiff but unequal competitive conditions and the NT to deny national governments the policy space to protect and promote national industries, employment and economic growth. It challenges the general assumption that the MFN and the NT are good and in the interest of all the WTO Members and rather identifies them as lynch-pins of economic development in the ECOWAS region. It also shows, contrary to the assumption of non-participation, how the ECOWAS High Contracting Parties are adapting their trading systems and harmonising their laws to the key provisions of Articles I and III of the GATT. It shows that the principles of non-discrimination are the outcome of the standard-setting procedures legally formulated as the SPS and TBT Agreements which favour the developed countries and how the Dispute Settlement Body has rejected the ‘aims-and-effect’ approach, taken a literal approach, overly emphasising trade liberalisation to the neglect of market access and economic development. This dissertation concludes that it is pre-mature for ECOWAS to assume Articles I and III obligations and recommends using the provisions of Article XXIV to build up effective influence through regional organisations and incrementally uniting to transform the GATT.
Supervisor: Chigara, B.; Conway, G. Sponsor: Brunel Law School
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: International economic and development law ; WTO principles of non-discrimination ; Harmonisation of trade law and policy ; WTO adjudication ; Barriers to trade and trade policy reviews