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‘S & D’ Treatment for Developing Countries in the WTO Trade Regime: A False Solution on a Wrong Footing for LDCs

Jianfu Chen, LLM (Hon I, Syd), PhD (Law) (Syd), is Associate Professor and Reader in the School of Law, La Trobe University. He has held several posts as professorial fellows/ visiting professors in universities in China and Europe. He teaches international business law and human rights law, and has published widely on Chinese law and comparative law.

This article first examines the notion of ‘developing countries’ in the con­text of WTO agreements. It then outlines the treatment of ‘develop­ing countries’ by the existing WTO mechanisms and agreements. This is followed by an analysis of the current status of trade and develop­ment in ‘developing countries’, which shows the inequitable nature of the notion of ‘developing countries’. It is argued that it is now time to discard the notion of ‘developing countries’ and to broaden the criteria for classifying the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) for the purposes of WTO, its agreements, rules and programs. It is further argued that a targeted and assisted development strategy for LDCs will need to be worked out by the international trading nations, if justice and fairness are to be achieved through international trade.

(2003) 21 Law in Context 109

   
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