The Law and Economics of International Trade Agreements

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The Law and Economics of International Trade Agreements

9781802209730 Edward Elgar Publishing
Alan O. Sykes, Professor of Law and Warren Christopher Professor in the Practice of International Law and Diplomacy, Stanford University, US
Publication Date: 2023 ISBN: 978 1 80220 973 0 Extent: 510 pp
From the pen of highly esteemed trade scholar Alan Sykes, this book presents a rigorous introduction to the law and economics of modern international trade agreements. With a bottom-up approach that requires neither a background in international trade law nor significant economics training, Sykes sets out to map and explain the complex dynamics of international trade agreements and institutions, synthesising legal analysis and cutting-edge economic research in order to present the reader with a sophisticated, holistic view of the field.

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From the pen of highly esteemed trade scholar Alan Sykes, this book presents a rigorous introduction to the law and economics of modern international trade agreements.

With a bottom-up approach that requires neither a background in international trade law nor significant economics training, Sykes sets out to map and explain the complex dynamics of international trade agreements and institutions, synthesising legal analysis and cutting-edge economic research in order to present the reader with a sophisticated, holistic view of the field.

Against the backdrop of the current impasse in both negotiation and dispute settlement at the World Trade Organisation, the book charts a clear path from the historical origins of trade law and the international system, to the current state of play, including unpacking the major areas of controversy. It exposits the economic theory of trade agreements, discusses the role of international trade law in domestic legal systems and analyzes the role of self-enforcement and formal dispute resolution mechanisms. It provides lucid and detailed analysis of the restrictions, exceptions, obligations and special measures that constitute the core building blocks of international trade rules, including the distinct features of international trade in services. With an international outlook, the book also addresses the role of China in the world trading system, looking at such issues as the credibility of market access commitments, China''s industrial policies, ‘forced technology transfer’ and currency manipulation.

Providing an eloquent, thorough and technically astute overview of international trade agreements, this title will be invaluable to scholars and teachers of international trade across the disciplines of law, economics and political science.
Critical Acclaim
‘The Law and Economics of International Trade Agreements is a must read for all (future) trade lawyers who seek to understand the rationale of trade treaties and to have a more evidence-based view on trade. It gets my highest recommendation and may help to diffuse some myths, misunderstandings and economically wrong narratives about trade which are entering the public discourse as well as the ever more pervasive industrial policies of the BRICS+ countries as well as industrialized nations. The book should also be widely read by policy makers.’
– Anne van Aaken, Journal of World Investment & Trade

‘Sykes again demonstrates why he is one of the most influential scholars in international trade law. This book is a tour de force, hitting all the important features in the field with clarity and depth. It is an indispensable guide on how perspectives from economics, law, political science, and history have informed the landscape. Anyone interested in trade will want to engage with this essential work.’
– Kathleen Claussen, Georgetown University Law Center, US

‘This book is an invaluable resource for anyone looking for a concise but comprehensive understanding of the modern international trade system, from the system’s origins to today’s challenges and controversies. In clear prose, it provides a sophisticated and accessible explanation of economics and politics of international trade law as well as the major forces driving “globalization.” It is the ideal resource for students or professionals seeking a succinct but cutting-edge engagement with the global trading order.’
– Rachel Brewster, Duke University, US

‘This book provides a highly accessible tour of the law and economics of international trade agreements, guided by the preeminent scholar who straddles two fields. With characteristic clarity and the bare minimum of technical details, Sykes covers an impressive range of topics and leaves the reader with a complete picture of the rules and institutions of the international trading system, their origins, motivations, and shortcomings.’
– Gene M. Grossman, Princeton University, US

‘As both a leading international law scholar and a first-rate economist, Alan Sykes is uniquely positioned to translate legal and economic jargon into terms that readers with little or no background in either subject can understand. In this monumental book, Sykes does just that to provide a lucid and accessible treatment of the law and economics of international trade agreements and a definitive assessment of the past, present and future role of these agreements in shaping the forces of globalization.’
– Robert W. Staiger, Dartmouth College, US
Contents
Contents: 1. Introduction to The Law and Economics of International Trade Agreements 2. Economic background: The rationale for trade, the case for
liberal trade and its critique, and the economics of trade agreements 3. An introduction to the history and institutions of international trade 4. The interface between national and international trade law 5. Enforcement and dispute resolution 6. Tariffs and quantitative restrictions 7. The most-favored nation (MFN) obligation and exceptions (with a note on state trading enterprises) 8. The national treatment obligation 9. The general and security exceptions 10. Technical barriers to trade and the trade/regulation interface 11. Safeguard measures 12. Antidumping measures 13. Subsidies and countervailing measures, with a note on agriculture 14. Trade in services and GATS 15. China in the world trading system Index
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