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The International Politics of South-South Trade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-445
Number of pages19
JournalGlobal Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

King's Authors


South-South trade has become a core component of the contemporary trade debate, but the idea of using preferential trade agreements among developing countries to foster industrialization and diminish dependence on the North has a long history. This article examines the North-South and South-South politics surrounding two efforts to operationalize this idea – the Protocol Relating to Trade Negotiations among Developing Countries in the GATT and the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP) within UNCTAD. It argues that the rich world has been somewhat obstructive in these efforts, but ultimately the primary cause for the weakness of these agreements is traced to failure by the global South to make good on the rhetoric surrounding economic cooperation and South-South solidarity. Lessons from this history must be learned if current efforts to extend the GSTP are to bring greater benefits, particularly to the least developed.

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