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Advanced Introduction to International Trade Law

Michael J. Trebilcock

A second and fully updated edition of the book previously entitled Understanding Trade Law, this book presents an accessible yet nuanced introduction to the basic structure and principles of international trade law. It explores the development of the international trade law regime, principally GATT and WTO law, and through clear and concise discussion of the many developments that have arisen, gives a streamlined overview of this notoriously complex area of legal study.
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Michael J. Trebilcock


This revised edition of Understanding Trade Law (2011) is an introductory book on international trade law (principally GATT/WTO law) and builds on a 25-year-long involvement in the field. Over this period I have taught an introductory trade law course at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and as a visitor at New York University Law School, Yale Law School, the University of Virginia Law School, and Tsinghua Law School (Beijing) – sometimes with co-teachers including my former student, former colleague and co-author Robert Howse (now at NYU Law School), Donald Macdonald, former Minister of Finance for Canada and Dr. Sylvia Ostry, former Senior Trade Negotiator for Canada. I have also authored or co-authored numerous scholarly articles on issues in international trade law and a major treatise, with Robert Howse and Antonia Eliason, The Regulation of International Trade (London: Routledge, 4th edition, 2013). My experience as a teacher, author, occasional policy advisor or expert witness, and media commentator in the international trade field has underscored to me the need for a short, straightforward account of the basic structure and principles of international trade law that is widely accessible to beginning students and non-specialist scholars and policy advisors. Our treatise (which now runs to 900 pages) presupposes a need or desire to invest in acquiring a sophisticated understanding of the field that is beyond what this broader readership requires. My hope in writing this book is that this broader readership, with a limited investment of time and intellectual effort, can acquire a...

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