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Energy Trade as a Special Sector in the WTO: Unique Features, Unprecedented Challenges and Unresolved Issues

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Rafael Leal-Arcas, Ehab Abu Gosh
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This paper aims to examine various factors that distinguish energy trade from other trade sectors, highlighting significant factors and analyzing in depth their components. For decades, the energy trade sector has been treated as a special case within the scope of the World Trade Organization (WTO). According to the paper, this special treatment should continue due to a combination of factors including the uniqueness and importance of energy; the unprecedented challenges and concerns that confront global energy industries in general and energy trade in particular; and certain legal debates and unresolved issues that emerge from the intersection between WTO law and energy trade.