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Bilateral trade agreements

The trade chapter of the European Union association agreement with Central America

Study
Publisher: 
European Parliament
City: 
Brussels
Volume, number, page: 
65 p.
Abstract: 
The EU Central America Association Agreement is an example of the successful completion of a region-to-region agreement and therefore in line with the EU’s aim of promoting regional integration in other regions through trade and association agreements.
For the EU, economic welfare gains and employment effects from the trade chapter of the Agreement are because of the relative small size of the Central American market expected to be negligible. However, EU exporters will benefit from lower tariffs on manufactured goods especially in automobiles. For the Central American countries (CA), there is the potential of significant gains, but these are not evenly spread. The fact that
CA exporters already benefited from zero tariffs on almost all exports to the EU under the extended Generalised System of Preferences (GSP+) means that there are relatively few sectors that will have enhanced access with the exception of bananas, raw cane sugar and shrimps. Above all, the Agreement will provide legally secure access to the EU market. The Agreement also tackles cross border services and establishment, technical
barriers to trade (TBT), sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues as well as trade remedies in the shape of anti-dumping, countervailing duties or multilateral safeguards. The provisions on intellectual property rights include Geographic Indications (GIs). The trade chapter furthermore contains a human rights clause which stipulates that the parties must ensure that human rights are respected within their jurisdiction. Furthermore there
are provisions on sustainable development.

Social Standards in Bilateral and Regional Trade and Investment Agreements

Instruments, Enforcement, and Policy Options for Trade Unions
Publisher: 
FES
City: 
Geneva
Volume, number, page: 
n.16, pp.
Category: 
Abstract: 
Despite efforts of the ILO, no viable multilateral labor rights regime has been established. At the same time, an increasingly global economy requires such regimes in order to prevent ruinous competition between countries competing in similar product markets on the basis of a similar set of production factors. Particularly if cheap labor is one of these factors, systematic violations of labor rights may be used as source of competitive advantages, even if such advantages are marginal. So-called ‘core labor rights’ can enable domestic actors to fight for improved standards.
Unilateral labor rights provisions do exist in the Generalized System of Preferences of the United States and the European Union, and have been applied with some success. However, attempts of the international labor movement to establish more enforceable multilateral labor rights provisions at the WTO have failed so far. Civil society actors have therefore stepped up their efforts to push individual transnational
enterprises to adopt so-called voluntary codes of conduct, with mixed (and limited) success.
A more recent strategy is the inclusion of labor rights provisions in bilateral or regional trade and investment agreements. With the multilateral trade process stalling, the governments of developed countries are moving toward bilateral and regional negotiations, where they have more bargaining power. Also, the value of unilateral trade preference schemes has decreased due to multilateral liberalization. Labor rights provisions in bilateral or regional agreements may thus be seen as a promis-ing strategy for improving compliance regarding core labor rights.
Specific labor rights provisions have been included in several agreements negotiated by the U.S., and more general provisions are to be found in agreements of the EU. Most U.S. provisions are effectively limited to the commitment of parties to enforce domestic labor law. However, there are notable exceptions in the agreements with Cambodia and Jordan, which could serve as examples for future labor rights provisions. In EU bilateral agreements, the focus is clearly on general human rights, development issues, technical cooperation and political dialogue, rather than on specific and enforceable labor rights provisions.
In addition to the problematic subordination of labor rights decisions to foreign policy objectives, there are two main problems for even the strongest labor rights provisions: First, their effective enforcement relies on strong local actors; yet it is the absence or weakness of such actors that makes external pressure necessary in the first place. Second, labor relations are among the most political domestic institutions, and resistance to external pressure can be expected not just in cases of systematic violations of core labor rights.

Quantitative assessment of a free trade agreement between MERCOSUR and the European Union

Publisher: 
ECLAC
City: 
Santiago
Volume, number, page: 
74 p.
Considered Countries: 
Abstract: 
The main purpose of this paper is to analyse the direct and indirect impacts of an FTA (free trade agreement) between MERCOSUR and the
EU (European Union). MERCOSUR is a regional trade agreement between Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, created in 1991. Venezuela signed a membership agreement in 2006, but it has not yet been ratified by the Brazilian and Paraguayan parliaments. In our study, we consider that Venezuela is not part of MERCOSUR. The aim of this regional treaty is to support free trade and the free movement of goods, people and currency. By European Union, we mean the 27 countries which are linked by their belonging to the European Communities

Modernising EU-Chile trade relations

City: 
Brussels
Considered Countries: 
Abstract: 
Currently, EU-Chile relations are governed by the 2002 EU-Chile Association Agreement (AA). The EU would like to modernise the AA's trade pillar to keep pace with new global trade patterns and the ambitious provisions of more recent trade agreements. During the September plenary, the European Parliament is expected to adopt recommendations on the future negotiations on this modernisation. It is also asked to give its consent to the conclusion of a separate EU-Chile agreement on trade in organic products and the AA's third additional protocol to take account of Croatia's EU accession.

European and Chinese trade competition in third markets :

the case of Latin America
Publisher: 
BRUEGEL
City: 
Brussels
Volume, number, page: 
n.6, pp.1-15.
Category: 
Considered Countries: 
Abstract: 
China’s increasingly important role in the global economy has transformed the nature of global competition and reshaped international trade.
Meanwhile, the European Union has long been the most important power in global trade and continues to run a very large trade surplus. We
address whether China is an increasingly relevant competitor for Europe in third markets, and in particular in Latin America. More specifi cally, we
empirically estimate the elasticity of substitution between European exports and Chinese exports to Latin American economies (ie how their exports to Latin America respond to the changes in relative exporting prices).

EU trade with Latin America and the Caribbean :

Overview and figures
Publisher: 
35 p.
City: 
Brussels
Category: 
Abstract: 
This publication provides an overview of trade relations between the EU and Latin American and Caribbean countries and groupings. The EU has fully fledged agreements with two Latin American groupings (Cariforum and the Central America group), a multiparty trade agreement with three members of the Andean Community (Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru), and bilateral agreements with Chile and Mexico. Since November 2017, a new agreement governing trade relations with Cuba has also been provisionally applied. In addition, the EU is currently modernising its agreements with Mexico (with which it has reached an 'agreement in principle') and Chile. The EU also has framework agreements with Mercosur and its individual members (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay). The agreement with the former will be replaced, once the ongoing negotiations on an EU-Mercosur association agreement have been completed. This publication provides recent data on trade relations between the EU and Latin American and Caribbean countries and groupings, compares the main agreements governing trade relations that are already in place, and analyses the rationale behind the ongoing negotiations on the EU-Mercosur, EU-Mexico and EU-Chile agreements. This is a revised and updated edition of a publication from October 2017 by Gisela Grieger and Roderick Harte, PE 608.793.

Differences in the perception of interest representation:

a comparision of Brasília and Brussels lobbying activity
Publisher: 
CPDOC - FGV
City: 
Rio de Janeiro
Volume, number, page: 
68 p.
Category: 
Considered Countries: 
Abstract: 
The research topic of this paper is focused on the analysis of how trade associations perceive lobbying in Brussels and in Brasília. The analysis will be centered on business associations located in Brasília and Brussels as the two core centers of decision-making and as an attraction for the lobbying practice. The underlying principles behind the comparison between Brussels and Brasilia are two. Firstof all because the European Union and Brazil have maintained diplomatic relations since 1960. Through these relations they have built up close historical, cultural, economic and political ties. Their bilateral political relations culminated in 2007 with the establishment of a Strategic Partnership (EEAS website,n.d.). Over the years, Brazil has become a key interlocutor for the EU and it is the most important market for the EU in Latin America (European Commission, 2007). Taking into account the relations between EU and Brazil, this research could contribute to the reciprocal knowledge about the perception of lobby in the respective systems and the importance of the non-market strategy when conducting business. Second both EU and Brazilian systems have a multi-level governance structure: 28 Member States in the EU and 26 Member States in Brazil; in both systems there are three main institutions targeted by lobbying practice. The objective is to compare how differences in the institutional environments affect the perception and practice of lobbying, where institutions are defined as ‘‘regulative, normative, and cognitive structures and activities that provide stability and meaning to social behavior’’ (Peng et al., 2009). Brussels, the self-proclaimed 'Capital of Europe', is the headquarters of the European Union and has one of the highest concentrations of political power in the world. Four of the seven Institutions of the European Union are based in Brussels: the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council and the European Commission (EU website, n.d.). As the power of the EU institutions has grown, Brussels has become a magnet for lobbyists, with the latest estimates ranging from between 15,000 and 30,000 professionals representing companies, industry sectors, farmers, civil society groups, unions etc. (Burson Marsteller, 2013). Brasília is the capital of Brazil and the seat of government of the Federal District and the three branches of the federal government of Brazilian legislative, executive and judiciary. The 4 city also hosts 124 foreign embassies. The presence of the formal representations of companies and trade associations in Brasília is very limited, but the governmental interests remain there and the professionals dealing with government affairs commute there. In the European Union, Brussels has established a Transparency Register that allows the interactions between the European institutions and citizen’s associations, NGOs, businesses, trade and professional organizations, trade unions and think tanks. The register provides citizens with a direct and single access to information about who is engaged in This process is important for the quality of democracy, and for its capacity to deliver adequate policies, matching activities aimed at influencing the EU decision-making process, which interests are being pursued and what level of resources are invested in these activities (Celgene, n.d). It offers a single code of conduct, binding all organizations and self-employed individuals who accept to 'play by the rules' in full respect of ethical principles (EC website, n.d). A complaints and sanctions mechanism ensures the enforcement of the rules and addresses suspected breaches of the code. In Brazil, there is no specific legislation regulating lobbying. The National Congress is currently discussing dozens of bills that address regulation of lobbying and the action of interest groups (De Aragão, 2012), but none of them has been enacted for the moment. This work will focus on class lobbying (Oliveira, 2004), which refers to the performance of the federation of national labour or industrial unions, like CNI (National Industry Confederation) in Brazil and the European Banking Federation (EBF) in Brussels. Their performance aims to influence the Executive and Legislative branches in order to defend the interests of their affiliates. When representing unions and federations, class entities cover a wide range of different and, more often than not, conflicting interests. That is why they are limited to defending the consensual and majority interest of their affiliates (Oliveira, 2004). The basic assumption of this work is that institutions matter (Peng et al, 2009) and that the trade associations and their affiliates, when doing business, have to take into account the institutional and regulatory framework where they do business.

Analysis of the upcoming modernisation of the trade pillar of the European Union- Mexico Global Agreement

City: 
Bruselas
Volume, number, page: 
66 p.
Considered Countries: 
Abstract: 
The 1997 Global Agreement between the EC and its Member States and Mexico, together with the set of decisions taken in its framework, has been effective, and thus modifications of the agreement are mainly motivated by changes in the global landscape since it was first enacted. Therefore, broad considerations on how the European Union (EU) trade policy is shaped are extremely relevant for the upcoming negotiations with Mexico. In this context, the needs and expectations, both from the EU and Mexico, regarding any further agreements are examined, focusing in particular on areas beyond trade in goods and services such as procurement, investment, and regulatory cooperation. It is argued that the 'old' Association Agreements should be taken as models for any modifications, given their emphasis on EU-specific issues and their ability to accommodate the needs of Mexico in any deepened agreement.

Analysis of the prospects for updating the trade pillar of the European Union-Chile Association Agreement

City: 
Brussels
Volume, number, page: 
60 p.
Considered Countries: 
Abstract: 
The perception of the present state of trade relations with Chile is obscured by a lack of adequate understanding of its legal framework as well as of the policy behind it. This study attempts to clarify the present state of and future prospects for trade between the EU and Chile through an examination of previous agreements and the EU’s new approach to trade liberalisation. The authors agree with the large consensus existing on both the EU and Chilean sides regarding the efficacy of the Association Agreement, but note that any extension of an agreement with Chile should capture the spirit of older EU agreements rather than simply following the ‘NAFTA route’. The study also includes a comparative analysis
between the EU-Chile agreement and current trade agreements being negotiated by the EU and Chile with third countries.

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