Analytical Note, November 2003

The Legality of Creating Plurilateral Agreements Within the WTO for Singapore Issues.

This note seeks to assess whether it is actually legal, under the WTO Agreement, for WTO Members to undertake and conclude negotiations for plurilateral agreements in the WTO vis-a-vis the Singapore issues.

The Singapore issue proponents would be likely to say that yes, it is legal, and will likely point to the following to support their argument: (i) that the text of the WTO Agreement itself provides for explicit recognition of the existence or possible existence of such agreements in the WTO context (e.g. Arts. II.3, III.1, IV.8, IX.5,IX.9, X.10, XII.3, XIII.5, XIV.4, XV.2, and XVI.5) and (ii) WTO practice has recognized the ability of WTO members to agree on PTAs such as the Annex 4 PTAs and the Information Technology Agreement.

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