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Transportation, Cooperation and Harmonization: GATS As a Gateway to Integrating the UN Seaborne Cargo Regimes into the WTO

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Document pages: 60 pages

Abstract: This paper seeks to analyze how the World Trade Organization (WTO) may cooperate with the United Nations (UN) to unify seaborne cargo regimes. Beginning with the current dilemma of uniform maritime transport regime, the paper explores the relationship between the UN and the WTO. In light of the successful precedent of the incorporation of the UN intellectual property regime into the WTO, this paper probes into the feasibility that the UN and the WTO may interactively unify a maritime transport regime by reference to selected previous treaties, which include UN-administrated treaties. This paper argues the WTO-based sea transport negotiations do not start from a zero basis so that it can be traced backwards to negotiating the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Having scrutinized the progress and regress in the negotiations so far under the WTO framework, this paper stresses the potential role of an annex on sea transport to the GATS so as to address the issue of harmonization.

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