Beyond the WTO? An Anatomy of EU and US Preferential Trade Agreements
AbstractIt 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 InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7317.
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- Henrik Horn & Petros C. Mavroidis & AndrÃ© Sapir, . "Beyond the WTO? An anatomy of EU and US preferential trade agreements," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 238, 11.
- Henrik Horn & Petros C. Mavroidis & André Sapir, 2010. "Beyond the WTO? An Anatomy of EU and US Preferential Trade Agreements," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(11), pages 1565-1588, November.
- F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
- F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
- K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-06-17 (All new papers)
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