Labor Standards and the Generalized System of Preferences: The European Labor Incentives

This Note offers an introduction to the history of the GSP system, and critiques India’s claim that the particular GSP scheme enacted by the EC is unacceptable under WTO law. It ultimately concludes that while the EC’s GSP scheme does indeed raise issues not raised by the GSP scheme of any other country, it is nonetheless not inconsistent with the EC’s WTO obligations. Part 2 discusses the development of the international GSP regime, as incorporated into the legal structure of the WTO, and thereby establishes what originally was and was not seen as permissible within such schemes. Part 3 then details the specifics of the EC’s GSP, particularly those parts that have given rise to the current dispute with India. Finally, Part 4 analyzes the legal arguments at the center of the dispute over the EC’s GSP scheme, and explains why such a scheme should ultimately be held to be WTO-consistent.