IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

How does the regular work of WTO influence regional trade agreements?


  • McDaniels, Devin
  • Molina, Ana Cristina
  • Wijkström, Erik


This paper illustrates how the work of the WTO's standing committees is fuelling regulatory cooperation between WTO members, and inspiring RTA negotiators. We explore, as a case study, how the WTO TBT Committee has shaped provisions on international standards in RTAs, and focus on the extent to which RTAs have assimilated the WTO TBT principles for development of international standards (the Six Principles), arguably the most important decision taken by the TBT Committee over last 20-plus years. Our analysis covers 260 RTAs, and shows that while most RTAs are silent on the matter, one quarter have provisions where the Parties commit to implement WTO TBT principles, and, among these, a few go further still - for example by naming specific international standardizing bodies which are relevant in certain sectors. In addition, the RTAs sharpen and harden the Six Principles by making them directly applicable to the parties.

Suggested Citation

  • McDaniels, Devin & Molina, Ana Cristina & Wijkström, Erik, 2018. "How does the regular work of WTO influence regional trade agreements?," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2018-06, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wtowps:ersd201806

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    regional Trade Agreements; international standards; international cooperation; coherence; non-tariff barriers; technical barriers to trade; regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:wtowps:ersd201806. 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: (ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.