PhD Defense by IGIR fellow Gianni Avila
Title of the dissertation: 'The Caribbean Community Preferential Trade Agreement: is there a legal obligation to create trade?'
On 1 February 2019 at 9.45 – 10.45h, IGIR fellow Mrs. Gianni Avila will present the results of her PhD research under the supervision of Prof. Peter van den Bossche and Dr. Anke Moerland. Her dissertation assesses the question whether GATT Article XXIV and paragraph 2 (c) of the Enabling Clause constitute a legal obligation to create trade. It is submitted that both of these legal provisions aim to create a normative structure for the establishment of preferential trade agreements, which are formed with the expectation to create trade. But, can an expectation to create trade be equated with a legal obligation to create trade in order to benefit from these legal exceptions to GATT Article I:1? Both legal provisions are examined with the aim of determining their relationship with the concept of trade creation. Further to this, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) preferential trade agreement is examined. Despite being one of the few preferential trade agreements to be pronounced as legally consistent with GATT Article XXIV, the CARICOM preferential trade agreement has been challenged in its ability to cultivate trade creation. The impact of the British Caribbean colonial paradigm on CARICOM trade policy and the cultivation of trade creation within the CARICOM preferential trade agreement is investigated. It is argued that the remnants of British Caribbean colonial policies continue to hamper efforts to cultivate intra-regional trade.