International Conference: “Regional Trade Agreements: The Fragmentation of International Trade Law”

Escrito por 

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

May 28th – 29th, 2010

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General Presentation of the International Conference

Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) are an exception to most-favoured-nation (MFN) treatment for trade in goods (under GATT Article XXIV) and services (under GATS Article V). The “Enabling Clause”, which permits special and differential treatment in favour of and among developing countries, also permits RTAs. The term RTA includes free trade agreements, customs unions and partial trade agreements and it is expected that close to 400 RTAs will be implemented by 2010. The goal of this conference is to analyze several legal questions raised by a new generation of RTAs.

RTAs create a complex web of overlapping trade rules that are difficult and costly for companies to navigate. Therefore, in order to highlight the importance of the relationship and consistency between the WTO provisions with the free trade agreements and general principles of international law for the Latin American and the Caribbean Region as well as its relations with other regions of the multilateral trading system we will hold an International Conference to address the main problems related to the interaction between the WTO agreements and free trade agreements, and provide training for interested persons (government officials, academic, law and international relations students) on how to approach these issues and potential conflicts.

Academic Advisor for the Conference: Bradly Condon

Academic Programme

Conference  on Regional Trade Agreements: The Fragmentation of International Trade Law


Conference Programme**


8:00 am



8:30 am

Opening of the Morning Session

Keynote Address by Ricardo Ramírez Hernández (WTO AB Member, Mexico, LAC)



Panel 1: RTAs in Context Chair: TBA


RTAs and Fragmentation of International Law

Victoria Donaldson (ABS, WTO)

WTO rules that apply to RTAs

RTA Exceptions: GATT Art. XXIV, GATS Art. V

Pamela Coke-Hamilton (IDB)

RTAs and Developing Countries: Enabling Clause

Edna Ramírez (WTO)

EU RTA model versus US RTA model



Coffee Break



Panel 2: WTO+ in RTAs Chair: TBA

Antony Taubman (IPD, WTO) (TBC)



Investment Provisions in RTAs

Laura Nielsen &

Stefan Amarasinha

Environmental Provisions in RTAs

James Mathis (TBC)

Competition Law in RTAs







Opening of the Afternoon Session

Keynote Address by Yasuhei Taniguchi (former WTO AB Member, Japan)



Panel 3: RTAs and Dispute Settlement Chair: Dr. Christian Häberli

Aegyoung Jung (LAD, WTO)

Choice of Forum between the WTO and RTAs

Speaker 2

The NAFTA Experience

Speaker 3

Dispute Settlement in EU RTAs

Pablo Ciotti, Argentina

The election of forum: MERCOSUR and WTO relationship



Coffee Break



Panel 4: RTAs and Developing Countries Chair: TBA.

Yasuhei Taniguchi

RTAs between Developed and Developing Countries: US-Korea, Japan’s FTA with Mexico

Bryan Mercurio

East Asian Economic Integration

Hannes Schloemann

Services in the CARIFORUM EPA: Some Lessons for Developing Countries (TBC)

Chantal Onanaiwu (CARICOM)

RTAs under the umbrella of the EU EPAs: ACP EPAs with the EU

Chin Leng Lim (TBC)

RTAs in Asia (possible topics include China’s recent trade agreements/negotiations, ASEAN, Singapore’s FTAs)


RTAs between Developed and Developing Countries (NAFTA was the first; other possible candidates include EU-Mexico FTA); and RTAs between Developing Countries (possible topics include the ones that have worked versus those that have not, MERCOSUR, Mexico’s FTAs with other Latin American countries)


Closing Remarks

* See Tuitions and Costs for detail on every day and optionsLength of Panels: 90 minutes (4 speakers @ 20 minutes + 10 minutes for questions)

Publication: The proceedings will be published on CD and on the websites of the Centro de Derecho Economico Internacional ( and IDB/INTAL

** Preliminary draft subject to revision, changes and updates.

Speakers for the Conference***

Joint Key Note Speakers:

Mr Ricardo Ramírez Hernández (Mexico), WTO Appellate Body Member, a

Yasuhei Taniguchi (former WTO AB Member, Japan)


Yasuhei Taniguchi (Japan), WTO Applete Body member 2000 – 2007

Bryan Mercurio, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Inter-American Development Bank.

Laura Nielsen, University of Copenhagen.

Ms Aegyoung Jung, Counsel at the WTO Secretariat Legal Affairs Division

Ms. Victoria Donaldson, WTO Appelate Body Secretariat

Ms Chantal Ononaiwu, CARICOM Secretariat, Specialised Department – Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN)

Dr. Pablo Alejandro Ciotti, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs International Trade and Warship of Argentina

Mr. Hannes Schloemann, WTI Advisors

Mr. Stefan Amarasinha, Directorate-General for Trade, European Commission (Belgium)

Speakers – ”To Be Confirmed”

Mr Alejandro Jara, WTO Deputy-Director General ()

Mr Antony Taubman, Director of the WTO Secretaroat Intelectual Property Division

Dr. Niall Meagher, ACWL

Ms. Edna Ramírez Robles, DEA European Law

Prof. Bradly Condon, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) (the Academic Advisor for the EMC2 2009-2010)

See also:

Speakers' Biografies

Tuition and packages

Call for Papers