IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Bilateral and Regional Free Trade Agreements, and Their Relationship with the WTO and the Doha Development Agenda

  • Trejos Alberto

    ()

    (INCAE, Costa Rica)

Registered author(s):

    The Doha Round differs from previous multilateral rounds since a number of participating countries are negotiating and implementing bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs) at the same time as they are negotiating multilaterally. The standard arguments against FTAs involve that they create trade diversion, are difficult to administrate, involve complex rules of origin that impost added costs on firms, and attract the attention and political capital of policy makers away from the multilateral negotiation. This paper poses other arguments about FTAs being beneficial to the multilateral process. For instance, they have allowed some countries to achieve zero tariffs with all their main trading partners, and therefore a large majority of their trade, and often involve reforms in sensitive issues that, once undertaken, allow governments to assume a more offensive position at the WTO. Most importantly, by creating trade diversion away from countries that act as laggards in all negotiation fronts, they generate the competitive pressure that can move those nations to assume a more constructive position in the multilateral negotiations; also, it may be easier to harmonize existing FTAs than to seek comprehensive plurilateral and multilateral agreements from scratch. Beyond the discussion of whether FTAs help or hinder multilateral progress, the paper discusses changes in the multilateral rules, and best practices in bilateral negotiations, that can help make both fronts better complements. The issues mentioned include guidelines among rules of origin, origin accumulation, harmonization of standing agreements, bilateral trade facilitation and solutions to preference erosion.Alberto Trejos is a Professor at INCAE in Costa Rica. From 1994-1998, he was Dean of INCAE, and General Director of its Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development from 1999-2002. He was a professor in the Economics Department of Northwestern University from 1994-98. He has also been a visiting professor and researcher at the Institut d’Anàlisi Econòmica de Barcelona, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Fundaçao Getulio Vargas of Rio de Janeiro, and the University of Texas. As Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica in 2002-04, he was responsible for the negotiation of CAFTA and of the CARICOM-Costa Rica FTA. He was in charge of Costa Rica´s ratification of its FTA with Canada and its entry into the Central American Customs Union. Trejos is a consultant for several companies, governments, and international organizations, President of CINDE (Costa Rican Investment Board), and a board member of several corporations and organizations. He has published extensively in leading journals, and he has been a National Science Foundation grantee and a Fulbright scholar. He received a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/gej.2005.5.4/gej.2005.5.4.1153/gej.2005.5.4.1153.xml?format=INT
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Global Economy Journal.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 1-11

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:5:y:2005:i:4:n:18
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.degruyter.com

    Order Information: Web: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/gej

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:5:y:2005:i:4:n:18. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.