Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Rex J. Zedalis

First Page



The thesis of this Article is that the decisional law involving GATT "like" product provisions understands the concept of likeness as tied to the theory of comparative economic advantage. The thesis is developed by first analyzing the specific language and negotiating history of the relevant provisions. This is followed by an examination of the opinions of the GATT dispute panels evaluating the meaning and objectives of the term "like." From the perspective of conventional interpretive assessment like is said to have a broad meaning in the context of GATT's basic obligations, and a narrow meaning in the context of its exceptional provisions. The fundamental point of the GATT decisional law linking the concept of likeness with comparative economic advantage is also used to survey, in a very preliminary way, other GATT provisions and panel decisions not dealing with the term like. This preliminary survey suggests that comparative advantage may be the single theory unifying all of GATT law.