WTO Dispute Settlements in East Asia
NBER Working Paper No. 10178
East Asian countries have become much more active in utilizing the WTO dispute settlement system to assert their legal rights. The dispute settlement experience so far for these countries has shown strong tendency of domestic governments to defend economic interest of major industries. Their primary counterparts in trade disputes are still major developed countries such as the United States and the European Communities. Thailand is in some sense peculiar in that it brought disproportionately many complaints to the WTO dispute settlement system while it was hardly challenged by other Members. In contrast to the GATT era, Korea has become legally very aggressive under the WTO system. It is also noted that Japan has been rarely challenged since October 1998. Except for China, most East Asian countries lack the national procedure to link private economic interests to the WTO dispute settlement procedures.