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ECONOMIC POLICY PROGRAMME. TOWARDS AN ECONOMICALLY-VIABLE PALESTINIAN STATE: The Regulation of External Trade. Monday May 23, 2005 Grand Park Hotel, Ramallah. Towards a Sovereign Trade Framework: Main Components. Domestic Legislation, Reform and WTO Accession. Professor Thomas Cottier.

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ECONOMIC POLICY PROGRAMME

TOWARDS AN ECONOMICALLY-VIABLE PALESTINIAN STATE:

The Regulation of External Trade

Monday May 23, 2005

Grand Park Hotel, Ramallah

Economic Policy Programme


Towards a Sovereign Trade Framework: Main Components

Domestic Legislation, Reform and WTO Accession

Professor Thomas Cottier

Economic Policy Programme


This document is an output from a project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) for the benefit of developing countries. The views expressed are not necessarily those of DFID.

Economic Policy Programme


Essential Elements

  • Membership to WTO

  • Need to establish essential legislation for the conduct of international trade relations:

    • Foreign Trade Act, Border regime and transit, TBT and SPS issues including a Food Safety Act and Technical Normative Infrastructure Law, Competition and Procurement Laws

Economic Policy Programme


WTO Membership

  • WTO Accession for Palestine provides a crucial framework for stable trade relations

  • It opens avenues for dispute settlement, protecting Palestinian interests

  • It opens avenues for technical co-operation and training of personnel

  • It provides the basis and framework for domestic trade-related legislation

Economic Policy Programme


The Foreign Trade Act of Palestine

Economic Policy Programme


Why a Foreign Trade Act ?

  • Defines jurisdictions in field of trade regulation (Who decides what?)

  • Defines the complex relationship to other laws and agencies (tariffs, TBTs agriculture, SPS/GMOs, services, intellectual property, competition, finance, telecom, etc), all affecting foreign trade

  • Explicit cross-referencing not necessary

  • A single act on all trade is impossible and cannot be found in any country

Economic Policy Programme


Why a Foreign Trade Act?

  • Most of the substantive trade rules today are defined by multilateral (WTO) and bilateral agreements (e.g. PLO-EU)

  • Domestic law remains important to establish the legal foundations for action in this field

    • for unilateral action

    • for action taken within the bounds of international agreements

Economic Policy Programme


FTAP Main Legal Principles

  • Non-discrimination: MFN and NT (WTO)

  • Prohibition of QRs, subject to exceptions (WTO, FTAP)

  • Proportionality (FTAP)

  • Transparency (WTO, FTAP)

  • Trade remedies, safeguards (WTO, FTAP)

  • Legality and judicial review (WTO, FTAP)

  • Consistent interpretation of national and international law

Economic Policy Programme


Compatibility With Constitution

  • Constitution as main legal basis of the State supersedes all other national law

  • FTAP has status of primary legislation

  • FTAP must respect basic constitutional provisions (structures and principles)

  • Special procedures possible

  • Question of Influence of Shari’a on trade (economic freedom / contracts)

Economic Policy Programme


Powers and Organisation

  • Legislative Council: Long term policy and treaty approval

  • President and Cabinet: Operational goals and coherence

  • Cabinet: Enactment of regulations and administrative decisions, subject to delegations to Ministry and Agencies

  • Possibility of provisional application of treaties

Economic Policy Programme


Administrative and Judicial Review

  • All decisions subject to administrative review by Minister of Trade

  • Judicial review by new Trade Court / Commission:

    • Relation to other Courts (penal provisions)

    • Advisory opinions possible

  • International arbitration

  • Additional roles of Trade Court / Commission

Economic Policy Programme


Conclusions

FTAP as the legal umbrella in foreign trade matters brings:

  • Coherence of laws: national & international

  • Transparency

  • Rule of Law: security, stability and confidence building

  • Essential to optimal development of the Palestinian economy and State

Economic Policy Programme


ECONOMIC POLICY PROGRAMME

TOWARDS AN ECONOMICALLY-VIABLE PALESTINIAN STATE:

The Regulation of External Trade

Monday May 23, 2005

Grand Park Hotel, Ramallah

Economic Policy Programme


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