30 Apr 2015
Boomerangs over Lac Léman: Transnational Lobbying and Foreign Venue Shopping in WTO Dispute Settlement
Journal article by Jappe Eckhardt (WTI) and Dirk De Bievre (University of Antwerp)
In this article, we explore the conditions under which firms engage in transnational lobbying and foreign venue shopping in the framework of WTO dispute settlement. Classical World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement cases mostly originate in domestic firms instigating their public authorities to bring a complaint against foreign trade barriers incompatible with WTO law. In recent years, however, we have witnessed the rise of WTO cases in which firms get a foreign government to file a case against its own authorities. By analysing transnational lobbying by EU firms in the WTO footwear case filed by China against the EU, and by US firms in the WTO gambling case Antigua brought against the US, we highlight the increasing resemblance between trade disputes and investment disputes.