The most favoured nation treatment principle
Additional Publication Information
Since 1947, the ‘Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment’ principle has been the key principle governing trade relations amongst states, especially in the context of the GATT and the WTO. It plays a key role in liberalising trade by preventing discrimination between goods coming from different countries at national borders. The principle is now enshrined in numerous provisions of multilateral WTO agreements, such as the GATT, the GATS, and the TRIPS Agreement. There is a strong possibility that this provision would be interpreted differently by different countries, particularly in areas that are not directly related to trade such as intellectual property (IP) protection afforded by the TRIPS Agreement. This chapter aims to provide an analysis of the MFN principle under the WTO covered agreements, by focusing specifically on the GATT and the TRIPS Agreement.
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