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Beyond the WTO? An Anatomy of EU and US Preferential Trade Agreements

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  • Horn, Henrik
  • Mavroidis, Petros C
  • Sapir, André

Abstract

It is often alleged that PTAs involving the EC and the US include a significant number of obligations in areas not currently covered by the WTO Agreement, such as investment protection, competition policy, labour standards and environmental protection. The primary purpose of this study is highlight the extent to which these claims are true. The study divides the contents of all PTAs involving the EC and the US currently notified to the WTO, into 14 "WTO+" and 38 "WTO-X" areas, where WTO+ provisions come under the current mandate of the WTO, and WTO-X provisions deal with issues lying outside the current WTO mandate. As a second step, the legal enforceability of each obligation is evaluated, judged on the extent to which the text specifies clear obligations. Among the findings are: (i) EC agreements contain almost four times as many instances of WTO-X provisions as do US agreements; (ii) but EC agreements evidence a very significant amount of ‘legal inflation’ (i.e., non-legally enforceable provisions) in the WTO-X category, and US agreements actually contain a more of enforceable WTO-X provisions than do the EC agreements; and (iii) US agreements tend to emphasize regulatory areas more compared to EC agreements.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7317.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7317

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Keywords: enforceable; legal inflation; Preferential trading agreements;

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References

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  1. Caroline Lesser, 2007. "Do Bilateral and Regional Approaches for Reducing Technical Barriers to Trade Converge Towards the Multilateral Trading System?," OECD Trade Policy Papers 58, OECD Publishing.
  2. Mavroidis, Petros, 2007. "Trade in Goods," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199239030.
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Cited by:
  1. Koopmann, Georg & Vogel, Lars, 2011. "Globalisierung, Regionalisierung und die Handelspolitik der Europäischen Union," HWWI Policy Papers 58, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  2. VANDENBUSSCHE, Hylke & ZANARDI, Maurizio, . "The chilling trade effects of antidumping proliferation," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2355, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Mia Mikic, 2011. "Are the India's trade agreements deep enough to support production networks?," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT, in: India: A New Player in Asian Production Networks?, Studies in Trade and Investment 75, chapter 5, pages 120-136 United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
  4. Florian Mölders, 2012. "On the Path to Trade Liberalization: Political Regimes in International Trade Negotiations," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1245, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Conconi, Paola & Perroni, Carlo, 2011. "Conditional versus Unconditional Trade Concessions for Developing Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 8253, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Bernard Hoekman, 2013. "Sustaining Multilateral Trade Cooperation in a Multipolar World Economy," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/86, European University Institute.
  7. Stephenson, Sherry & Roberts, Maryse, 2011. "Evaluating the Contributions of Regional Trade Agreements to Governance of Services Trade," ADBI Working Papers 307, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  8. Jason H. Grant, 2013. "Is the growth of regionalism as significant as the headlines suggest? Lessons from agricultural trade," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(1), pages 93-109, 01.
  9. Arpita Mukherjee & Parthapratim Pal & Ramneet Goswami, 2010. "Addressing New Service Sectors in WTO/FTAs : Express Delivery and India," Trade Working Papers 23035, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  10. Bernard M. Hoekman & Petros C. Mavroidis, 2013. "WTO 'à la carte' or WTO 'menu du jour'? Assessing the case for Plurilateral Agreements," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/58, European University Institute.
  11. Bernard M. Hoekman & Aaditya Mattoo, 2013. "Liberalizing Trade in Services: Lessons from Regional and WTO Negotiations," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/34, European University Institute.
  12. Chauffour, Jean-Pierre & Maur, Jean-Christophe, 2010. "Beyond market access : the new normal of preferential trade agreements," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5454, The World Bank.

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