Thursday, March 15, 2012
The World Trade Organization (WTO) launched a new database this week to increase transparency regarding preferential trade arrangements (PTAs) and regional trade agreements. Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) permits Member States to deviate from the cardinal principle of Most Favored Nation (MFN) through these arrangements if the WTO is notified and if certain requirements are met. Over the years, little has been done to monitor or enforce those requirements. The database is intended to provide more information about these regional or bilateral arrangements and may lead to more discipline in this area. The new PTA database may be found at:
It is searchable by agreement or country and includes the texts of the agreements among other information.