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The Pursuit of Non-Trade Policy Objectives in EU Trade Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Ingo Borchert
  • Paola Conconi
  • Mattia Di Ubaldo
  • Cristina Herghelegiu

Abstract

The European Union (EU) often conditions preferential access to its market upon compliance by its trading partners with Non-Trade Policy Objectives (NTPOs), including human rights and labor and environmental standards. We systematically document the coverage of NTPOs in EU trade agreements and in its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). We then examine the extent to which trade agreements and GSP programs can be used to promote NTPOs. Preferential trade agreements are negotiated under multilateral rules, which require members to eliminate all tariffs reciprocally. As a result, once a trade agreement enters into force, the EU cannot easily restrict or extend access to its market so as to “punish bad behavior” or “reward good behavior” on NTPOs by its trading partners. By contrast, GSP preferences are granted on a unilateral basis, so they can be limited or extended, depending on compliance with NTPOs. EU GSP programs can thus provide a carrot-and-stick mechanism to promote NTPOs in partner countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingo Borchert & Paola Conconi & Mattia Di Ubaldo & Cristina Herghelegiu, 2020. "The Pursuit of Non-Trade Policy Objectives in EU Trade Policy," Working Papers ECARES 2020-09, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/304060
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bernard Hoekman & Charles Sabel, 2021. "Plurilateral Cooperation as an Alternative to Trade Agreements: Innovating One Domain at a Time," RSCAS Working Papers 2021/01, European University Institute.
    2. Mattia Di Ubaldo & Michael Gasiorek, 2020. "Non-trade provisions in trade agreements and FDI," Working Paper Series 2120, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade Agreements; GSP; Conditionality; Non-Trade Policy Objectives;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F50 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - General
    • J80 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - General
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • K38 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Human Rights Law; Gender Law

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