The World Trade Organization between law and politics: Negotiating a solution for public stockholding for food security purposes

Matias Margulis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article examines efforts by member states of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to modify international trade laws to further accommodate public food stockholding for food security programmes operated by developing countries. While WTO members have negotiated a temporary Peace Clause to minimise the threat of a trade dispute for countries whose public food stockholding violates their international trade commitments, negotiations to modify existing WTO law have been fraught with political discord. I argue that states are using the WTO’s negotiating function to address perceived conflicts between international trade law and national food security goals rather than pursuing a solution through legal adjudication. The case of public food stockholding reveals important dynamics about the WTO-food security relationship that are overlooked by approaches primarily concerned with supra-national constraints on national policy and the fragmentation of international law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-360
Number of pages27
JournalTransnational Legal Theory
Volume9
Issue number3-4
Early online date30 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Keywords

  • World Trade Organization
  • WTO
  • agreement on agriculture;
  • public food stockholding
  • food security
  • human right to food

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