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Unpublished Paper
A Faustian Bargain: Creating A Successful Agreement In The WTO Negotiations On Trade In Maritime Services
ExpressO (2009)
  • Rod Sullivan, Florida Coastal School of Law
The WTO has struggled for over a decade to lower trade barriers in services, but few areas have proven as difficult as those barriers which exist in field of the carriage of goods by sea. Ships and shipping are emotional issues, filled with concerns about national pride, national self-sufficiency, and the need for national defense. In just the past few months, the European Community has taken a major step toward free trade by eliminating the liner conference system, a system of cargo and ocean traffic regulation which has been in place for over a century and a half. This change can either spell the beginning new multilateral negotiations on freer trade in maritime services, or the beginning of an international trade war in maritime services. As you read this the outcome is uncertain. What is certain is that the United States has not been a facilitator in the process of liberalization of trade. According to some participants, the failure of the WTO negotiations was primarily the result of a lack of U.S. leadership on the issue. That can change. This article discusses the issue from the points of view of the United States, the European Community, and the nations supporting the positions of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). It examines the problems that lie ahead, and proposes some solutions which might break the negotiations open, and lead to a breakthrough on creating freer world trade, even in a time of economic downtown.
  • World Trade Organization,
  • General Agreement on Trade in Services,
  • Maritime Trade,
  • Carriage of Goods by Sea,
  • Cabotage,
  • National Security,
  • Free Trade
Publication Date
January 27, 2009
Citation Information
Rod Sullivan. "A Faustian Bargain: Creating A Successful Agreement In The WTO Negotiations On Trade In Maritime Services" ExpressO (2009)
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