Within the context of Community law, the negotiation, conclusion and implementation of international agreements is often fraught with legal problems about competence. There are various reasons for this: the EC Treaty set out a sui generis legal order based on the principle of limited powers pursuant to Article 5 EC. On the other hand, international trade relations deal with a wide range of distinct, albeit interdependent, areas not necessarily falling within the Community’s competence. This substantive discrepancy entails the simultaneous involvement of both Member States and Community institutions, whose often differing agenda may give rise to disputes of a procedural and practical nature. This process has been seen as a threat to the uniformity of the Community’s external relations. The Commission, for instance, has often argued that, in order for the Community to maintain a unified position on the international trade scene, to preserve the coherence of its policies and protect the credibility of its negotiating stance, the exclusive nature of its competence should be interpreted broadly.