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August 23, 2007

WTO dispute system under fire

Today's New York Times has a lengthy article about the U.S.-Antigua gambling case at the WTO. It's unclear why they chose to run the article today, given there isn't any actual new news right now, but it's an interesting story about the dilemma that the WTO faces in trying to enforce its own rules.

On his blog, Dani Rodrik responds to the article by questioning whether the WTO should have jurisdiction over this kind of domestic policy at all:

To me, this is another example of how existing WTO practices are leading to the narrowing of policy space to the detriment of legitimacy (and economic logic). When the system serves to enforce new restrictions on domestic policy autonomy that would be wildly unpopular at home, it is time to rethink the system.

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