THE WTO REGULATION OF NORTH-SOUTH PREFERENTIAL TRADE AGREEMENTS (PTAS): A PROPOSAL FOR PRO-DEVELOPMENT REVISION OF GATT ARTICLE XXIV
Languages spoken: English, Korean
Thesis Advisors: Professors Joel P. Trachtman and Antonia Handler Chayes
The debate over whether the expanding Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) regime helps or hurts multilateral trading system originates from the inherently discriminatory character of PTAs under GATT Article XXIV, in derogation of the Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) principle. Despite Art. XXIV’s ineffectiveness to regulate PTAs in today’s trading environment, current discourse misses a critical link as to how it can be made conducive to the modern trend toward deeper integration in the context of international production network. This thesis seeks to answer that question, focusing on North-South PTAs. Art. XXIV should be revised to accommodate regulatory convergence, first through harmonization, then mutual recognition. Developed economies should remain sensitive to their developing counterparts’ capacity gap in bringing their regulatory framework up to a higher level. The “preference” to be embedded in PTAs, hence in Art. XXIV, should be about enabling developing countries to converge their non-tariff barriers (NTBs) with those of developed partners.
A member of the New York Bar with a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law, Hyejin Park has a transnational background as a bilingual communicator. While at Northeastern, she held legal internships in Boston ranging from working for a U.S. federal judge to a private law firm. Before law school, Hyejin was with the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, where she assisted U.S. Foreign Service Officers in their efforts to solidify the U.S.-Korean alliance in the political, economic, and social arenas. Before that, Hyejin worked as a professional interpreter and translator for the South Korean national government, in both its executive and legislative branches. Her primary academic interest is pursuing research on the intersection of international trade law and development. She is Interim Program Director of the LL.M. Program at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy for the Fall 2012 semester.