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Abstract

For over six decades, at the center of the multilateral trade negotiations have been tariff and non-tariff measures imposed by importing countries on imports. Measures imposed by exporting countries restricting exports have seldom gained attention in any round of multilateral trade negotiations, including the current one under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Nevertheless, this does not suggest that countries do not impose restrictions on exports. Nor does it indicate that export restrictions have never been a concern in international commerce. The tension between exporting countries and importing countries on the use of export restrictions is heightened especially in times of crisis. As observed by the WTO, international trade following the 2008 global financial and economic crisis had witnessed an increasing trend in export restrictions imposed on food products and minerals. So, if export restrictions are that important, are they not disciplined by international trade agreements, including the WTO and the hundreds of regional trade agreements? Is it the time now to develop new disciplines under the multilateral trading system? Not only will this thesis advocate the desirability of new disciplines on export restrictions under the WTO, it will also propose a pragmatic bargaining plan to launch the negotiations.

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