International Regulation of Trade
About This Class
There has never been a more critical or important time to study international trade law. In the recent U.S. presidential campaign, leading candidates on both the left and the right took aim at existing and proposed international trade agreements, threatening to drop out of proposed agreements and rip up existing ones with the promise of restoring American manufacturing jobs by doing so. Critics regard these anti-trade policies not only as potentially destructive of the American economy in the long term but also as deeply threatening to America’s traditional role as leading geopolitical power. This course provides students with an introduction to the basics – both the structure and operation and the controversial aspects - of international trade agreements. Our primary focus will be on the World Trade Organization and the interpretation and enforcement of the various international trade treaties - GATT, GATS, TRIPS, and TRIMS - that fall under the WTO’s jurisdiction. Although these treaties vary in coverage and approach, they reflect a common aim - elimination of barriers to trade - and incorporate certain basic shared principles (such as the “equal treatment” principle underlying the National Treatment and Most Favorable Nation provisions). Other bi-lateral and multi-lateral trade agreements such as NAFTA will also be considered, focusing in particular on the controversial investment protection provisions contained in such agreements. This course is an essential foundation course for any student interested in pursuing a career in international law or, more generally, in participating effectively in the current debate over the wisdom and political desirability of international trade agreements. **Method of evaluation: Final exam: self-scheduled; 8-hours. *Students who wish to satisfy their AWR requirement by writing a paper on a selected topic of International Regulation of Trade may do so with permission of the instructor.