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This Article presents an analytic method for considering proposals to expand the scope of the WTO. In doing so, the Article organizes competing ideas concerning the rationale for the WTO and shows how varying assumptions can lead to different conclusions on the proper content of international trade law. This Article seeks to advance the debate by comparing these assumptions and also considering the key literature about trade linkage. The Article proceeds in three parts. Part I shows why the purpose of the WTO is not self-evident and how a framework can be useful for improving the debate about the organization's mission. Part II presents a three-category framework reflecting the different ambits in which the WTO operates: (1) the relationship between states, (2) the relationship between the state and individuals, and (3) the relationship between intergovernmental organizations. Finally, Part III summarizes the analysis and explains how the frames can help triangulate the WTO within international law.

GW Paper Series

GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2013-13; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-13

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