« Given the growing threat to the global trading system, it has never been more important for scientists to highlight transparency, perhaps the most underestimated contribution of the system. And nowhere is it more important than regulatory standards for trade in food, animals and plants and the interoperability of products that intertwine with an increasingly technical and interconnected world. Karttunen explains how the pipes of the legal system work, when and why plumbers are needed, and whether it is time for the WTO to make some home renovations before flooding the basement of the trading system. « The WTO now has more than 160 members and its economic, legal and political systems are very different. This brilliant study shows how transparency contributes to the implementation of WTO rules and compliance with membership. « This is the only comprehensive and most innovative research on transparency in the WTO. Readers, practitioners and academics will benefit from the quality of the author`s analysis. Transparency of trade rules by all WTO members is essential for open, fair and predictable trade relations. Many different rules apply to all WTO members and have the potential to affect international trade. Agreements on the application of health and plant health measures and technical barriers to trade provide the most comprehensive framework within the WTO to address the costs of this regulatory diversity and regulatory transparency and cooperation obligations.
This book provides a detailed overview of the legal disciplines of the two agreements, a detailed presentation of discussions among WTO members and an overview of the few cases that end with a formal settlement of disputes. It shows that the strength of the WTO`s legal and domestic system goes far beyond its dispute settlement system, with transparency enabling the implementation of WTO obligations through better information exchange and cooperation among members themselves through extrajudicial means. « The precious book by Marianna Karttunen is the first lasting analysis of the specific negotiation process in the two WTO Standards Committees, which is truly the crown jewel of WTO conflict management. Karttunen also highlights the objectives of regulatory transparency and cooperation, including the importance to national stakeholders. The book realizes that a mechanical exercise is not only interesting for civil servants, but also that companies need to be informed of national rules in other countries and that they need opportunities to discuss with officials the commercial impact of these regulations.