Use of the WTO trade dispute settlement mechanism by the Latin American countries — dispelling myths and breaking down barriers

The WTO's Dispute Settlement Mechanism (DSM) has been hailed as a fundamental aspect of the Multilateral Trading System for developing countries

At the same time developing countries face many challenges to ensure their effective participation in the mechanism. This paper presents statistical evidence of how Latin-American countries have been very active in their use of the DSM, especially when their use of the mechanism is compared to their participation in world trade. This paper also analyses why, to a large extent, Latin American countries have overcome the challenges of participating in the DSM; and have done so by coming up with innovative and creative solutions, without deviating from the guidelines established by WTO rules.

No: ERSD-2012-03


Ra˙l A. Torres — WTO development division

Manuscript date: February 2012

Key Words:

Dispute settlement, Latin-America, participation, challenges, litigation, retaliation, consultations, negotiations, panel

JEL classification numbers:

F13, F51, F53, K33, K41, K42

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This is a working paper, and hence it represents research in progress. This paper represents the opinions of the author, and is the product of professional research. It is not meant to represent the position or opinions of the WTO or its Members, nor the official position of any staff members. Any errors are the fault of the author. Copies of working papers can be requested from the divisional secretariat by writing to: Economic Research and Statistics Division, World Trade Organization, Rue de Lausanne 154, CH 1211 Geneva 21, Switzerland. Please request papers by number and title.

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