Behind the Multilateral Trading System offers a novel perspective from which to view and understand the WTO regime and its participants. The central feature of that new perspective is the concept of legal indigenization. This term generally refers to the process or ideology in which domestic authorities make and implement international or domestic rules in a way appealing to their native features (especially legal traditions), as responses to globalization led by a defective global legal system. The book’s core thesis is that the influence of the legal tradition and culture of a society or political system inevitably and fundamentally influences the ways in which WTO members propose multilateral trading rules and implement their WTO obligations—in ways that have not, until now, been adequately explored and explained in the extensive literature relating to international trade law.
In addressing the core thesis, Xing embarks on a brisk six-chapter survey of legal indigenization and the WTO. After an elaborative review of pertinent literature in Chapter 1, she proposes and defines, in Chapter 2, the term “legal indigenization.” In Chapters 3 through 5, Xing explores how the legal tradition and culture possessed by China, the United States, and the European Union respectively can explain the unique characteristics of their international trade negotiations, international trade dispute settlement, domestic legislation on trade, and domestic adjudication of trade issues. The author addresses the implications of legal indigenization for ongoing multilateral trade negotiations and the WTO in Chapter 6.
This book will prove valuable not only for academic, research, and student readers in the disciplines of international trade law (GATT-WTO, negotiations, accession), international organizations (relations with members), public international law (treaty application, legal interpretation), comparative law (influence of legal traditions on international relations), and globalization studies (handling global-national-local policy frictions), but also for policy-makers and government advisors who are engaged in multilateral economic relations, treaty negotiations, and dispute resolution.