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Maritime Transport, The WTO and Regional Trade Agreements: Too Many Cooks?

Zhao, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-8935-001X (2020). Maritime Transport, The WTO and Regional Trade Agreements: Too Many Cooks? In: Coherence and Divergence in Services Trade Law. European Yearbook of International Economic Law, 2020. (pp. 219-247). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-46955-9_10


Shipping is the most international of all industries, as well as being one of the oldest—and it is also one of the most complicated. This chapter examines, through historical, legal and economic lenses, whether and how RTAs (and PTAs) may facilitate international trade and enhance liberalisation of maritime transport service along with the GATS under the WTO framework. The relationship between the WTO and maritime transport regime can be traced back to the GATS and related maritime transport service negotiations. Even though shipping has been on the negotiating agenda since the 1980s, the GATS related negotiations on this sector turned out extremely frustrating. After exploring the status quo of the maritime transport services and their liberalisation under the GATS and RTAs, this chapter argues that the future liberalisation of maritime transport sector relies on efforts from both the WTO and RTAs. From an economic point of view, today’s trade relies on shipping to carry the goods around the world, because the trade is globalised, shipping needs such a global, multilateral framework which the WTO empowers. At the same time, shipping also needs regional, bilateral and local forums—RTAs (including PTAs)—through which Members share a high degree of commonality.

Publication Type: Book Section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
J Political Science > JZ International relations
K Law > K Law (General)
V Naval Science
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
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