Changing Faces of International Trade: Multilateralism to Regionalism

Sayantan Gupta


Regional trade agreements are an integral part of international trade, they operate
alongside global multilateral agreements under the WTO, and they have increased significantly in
number and prominence recently. The interface between regionalism and multilateralism is complex
and evolving. This paper examines why the countries have preferred regional strategies over the
multilateralism and an assessment has been made as to the systemic implications of this new
interface. The legal solution for trade regionalism as provided in the law of GATT by virtue of
Article XXIV has been dealt with. International trade development in North-South dimensions and
the South-South integration has added to this interface. The trade developments in international law
over the past half century have left us with the current multilateral status being extremely weak. For
some time to come we can expect to see numerous bilateral, regional, and global responses from
governments and MNCs.


multilateralism, WTO, regional trade, MNCs, regionalism ,GATT, free trade agreements

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