The Political Economy of International Trade Law: Essays in Honor of Robert E. Hudec

By Daniel L. M. Kennedy; James D. Southwick | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Agriculture on the way to firm international
trading rules


There are probably few areas in world trade where the proposition that international trade law is a matter of political economy–as reflected in the theme of this book–is so notoriously obvious as in agriculture. And there are certainly few, if any, other papers that describe and analyze the political economy of international trade law for agriculture assagaciously and convincingly as Bob Hudec's 1998 paper for the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium (Hudec 1998). Whole generations of agricultural specialists, the present author included, have written hundreds of papers and books about the treatment of agriculture in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Hudec, for whom agricultural trade law and policy is but one of the many areas he has covered in his research, needs no more than a few pages to explain in peerless clarity and profound technical competence the interplay between political economy and international law in the agricultural morass that plagued the GATT for a long time.

A few citations may suffice to highlight the way Hudec characterizes the situation of agriculture in the GATT before the Uruguay Round.1 He starts by noting that “according to conventional wisdom, the original GATT agreement, which lasted from 1947 to the end of 1994, was highly successful in reducing barriers to international trade in industrial goods, but it was a conspicuous failure in reducing barriers and other distortions to trade in agricultural products. Hudec then examines “the extent to which the GATT's weak performance in the area of agricultural trade was caused by weaknesses in its rules or weaknesses in its enforcement procedure. In a short discourse about the enforcement of international rules, Hudec states that “if governments lack the political will to obey the rules, the rules will not work, no matter how well they are crafted. “As we examine the relative strengths and weaknesses of GATT rules and procedures, the question that will always be before us will be how this particular strength or weakness affects the process of internal decision-making in the target government–essentially, how will it affect the relative power of those participants in that decision-making process who favor

All citations until the next footnote are from Hudec, 1998, passim. I have taken the liberty to change the sequence of some of these citations from that in the original text.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Political Economy of International Trade Law: Essays in Honor of Robert E. Hudec
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 696

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?