One of the most problematic aspects of Article XXIV, particularly in that it applies to the exclusion of economic sectors from free trade agreements, is the meaning of the term “essentially all trade”. This term has not been defined by either the joint GATT contracting parties or the GATT working groups, whose reports have tended to be inconclusive.16 The 1994 agreement does not explicitly define the concept; However, the preamble states that the expansion of trade, to which regional agreements contribute, “will be increased if the elimination of tariffs and other restrictive trade rules extends to all trade and is reduced if an important sector is excluded.” In determining whether free trade agreements meet this obligation, the working groups took into account both quantitative and qualitative factors17. The working groups expressed concern about the exclusion of certain agricultural activities from free trade agreements with Israel and Canada, but none of the panels recommended the rejection of free trade agreements and both reports were subsequently adopted.18 WTO rules governing agreements are the result of negotiations between members. The current series is, to a large extent, the result of the 1986-1994 Uruguay Round negotiations, which included a complete revision of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Removing trade barriers is one of the most obvious ways to promote trade. Barriers include tariffs (or tariffs) and measures such as import bans or quotas that selectively limit quantities. Other issues, such as bureaucracy and exchange rate policy, have also been discussed from time to time. When a WTO member enters into a regional integration agreement in which it provides more favourable terms for its trade with other contracting parties than other WTO members, it departs from the guiding principle of non-discrimination defined in Article I of the GATT, Article II of the GATS and elsewhere. The priority of WTOs is to enable smooth, free and predictable trade. This is the case: Henri Joel NKUEPO is a doctoral student at International Eslawisch (University of the Cape West Cape) and an intern at the Human Rights Commission of South Africa. His research focuses on the regulation of natural resource trade, the protection of human rights, the environment and the protection of foreign direct investment in natural resources.