The European Community’s Prodigal Son – the Common Agricultural Policy – Undergoes Reform: Will Multilateral Trading Schemes Fostered by the Gatt Blossom or Wither and Die?

1 Colum. J. Eur. L. 233 (1995)

Robert P. Cooper, III. 1994 Graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law, Syracuse, New York.

Commerce, which ought naturally be, among nations, as among individuals, a bond of union and friendship, has become a most fertile source of discord and animosity.
— Adam Smith. AN INQUIRY INTO THE NATURE AND CAUSES OF THE WEALTH OF NATIONS 460 (Modern Library ed., Random House 1937).

With the startling advances being made in global communications and transportation systems in the late Twentieth Century, the world is rapidly shrinking. One of the results is the “globalization” of the world’s economy – national borders turning into mere formalities rather than hindrances. In the early 1990’s there remains, however, more “discord and animosity” in the world than a “bond of union and friendship.” Some have said that new trade rules need to be written to comply with the demands of the Twenty-First Century.’ Far from a free trading system, the next century’s trading system must take account of a tri-polar world, which is based on a system of quasi- trading blocks with managed trade. Given the unfortunate face-off between the European Community (EC or Community) and the United States during the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) over the EC’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), this opinion may have merit.