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University of Baltimore Journal of International Law

Abstract

This comment discusses the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP or the Partnership), a bi-lateral trade agreement between the United States and the European Union, in relation to the World Trade Organization (WTO). TTIP pushes the world towards greater trade liberalization, and if implemented, such a trade agreement would affect trillions of dollars in existing trade. When trade barriers are reduced, a significant amount of new possibilities open up, especially in regards to potential markets for exports, growth and improvement of competitive products, and reduction in the losses associated the border. Since its establishment, the WTO has sought to establish an agreement between its members to reduce tariffs and facilitate free trade. However, it has failed to fulfill its role as a rule-maker, particularly via trade agreements, due to multi-polarity and a decline in United States hegemony. The analysis provided discusses how the Partnership could advance the function of the WTO because the implementation of an international bilateral trade agreement removes the rule-maker duty from the WTO and, instead, allows the WTO to focus on the area of dispute resolution, thus taking on a more “softlaw” approach within international trade, and ideally, returning to its full potential.

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