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date: 23 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The search for the right balance between disciplining protectionist measures and allowing Members to maintain regulatory autonomy has characterized the evolution of the general agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT) rules — namely Articles I, III, XI, and XX GATT 1994, the TBT Agreement, and the SPS Agreement. All of these impose different regulatory constraints on government actions relating to standards, technical and sanitary regulations, etc. This article compares the disciplines on domestic regulation contained in each of these agreements, and provides an analysis of the conditions for application of each agreement. It discusses selected categories under various disciplines namely, necessity tests, internal consistency, harmonization. It identifies disciplines inherent and common to each set of provisions, compares them, discusses their interaction, and suggests some understandings.

Keywords: protectionist measures, TBT Agreement, SPS Agreement, harmonization, necessity tests

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