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Explaining the genesis of a trade dispute: the European Union's seal trade ban

Ferdi De Ville (UGent)
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Abstract
Why has the European Union (EU) enacted a trade ban on seal products provoking a trade dispute with Canada, while it is the most ardent supporter of the multilateral trade regime and was about to start free trade negotiations with Canada? Rational functionalist explanations of compliance with international trade rules suggest that trade officials in the EU concerned with reputation costs and exporters concerned with the risk of retaliation should have prevented the ban. This article shows from an institutionalist perspective that if the European Parliament and the Council are little concerned with reputation costs and exporters do not mobilize against regulation under uncertainty that their exports will be affected by retaliation, the agenda-setting power of the Commission is insufficient to ensure World Trade Organization (WTO) consistency. Compliance with WTO rules is contingent on domestic political processes, and in the EU, it is dependent on inter- and intra-institutional tradeoffs of WTO consistency and non-trade objectives.
Keywords
European Union, Compliance, institutionalism, seal trade ban, WTO

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
De Ville, Ferdi. 2012. “Explaining the Genesis of a Trade Dispute: The European Union’s Seal Trade Ban.” Journal of European Integration 34 (1): 37–53.
APA
De Ville, F. (2012). Explaining the genesis of a trade dispute: the European Union’s seal trade ban. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION, 34(1), 37–53.
Vancouver
1.
De Ville F. Explaining the genesis of a trade dispute: the European Union’s seal trade ban. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION. 2012;34(1):37–53.
MLA
De Ville, Ferdi. “Explaining the Genesis of a Trade Dispute: The European Union’s Seal Trade Ban.” JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION 34.1 (2012): 37–53. Print.
@article{1216307,
  abstract     = {Why has the European Union (EU) enacted a trade ban on seal products provoking a trade dispute with Canada, while it is the most ardent supporter of the multilateral trade regime and was about to start free trade negotiations with Canada? Rational functionalist explanations of compliance with international trade rules suggest that trade officials in the EU concerned with reputation costs and exporters concerned with the risk of retaliation should have prevented the ban. This article shows from an institutionalist perspective that if the European Parliament and the Council are little concerned with reputation costs and exporters do not mobilize against regulation under uncertainty that their exports will be affected by retaliation, the agenda-setting power of the Commission is insufficient to ensure World Trade Organization (WTO) consistency. Compliance with WTO rules is contingent on domestic political processes, and in the EU, it is dependent on inter- and intra-institutional tradeoffs of WTO consistency and non-trade objectives.},
  author       = {De Ville, Ferdi},
  issn         = {0703-6337},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION},
  keyword      = {European Union,Compliance,institutionalism,seal trade ban,WTO},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {37--53},
  title        = {Explaining the genesis of a trade dispute: the European Union's seal trade ban},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07036337.2011.566331},
  volume       = {34},
  year         = {2012},
}

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