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Commercial policy

Trade and development nexus :

reflections on the performance of trade in goods under the CARIFORUM-European Union Partnership Agreement A CARIFORUM perspective
Publisher: 
ECLAC
City: 
Santiago
Volume, number, page: 
54 p.
Abstract: 
Given the asymmetry in the levels of development and capacity which exist between the EU and CARIFORUM States, the architects of the CARIFORUM-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) anticipated the need for review and monitoring of the impacts of
implementation. Article 5 and other provisions in the Agreement therefore specifically mandate that monitoring be undertaken to ensure that the Agreement benefits a wide cross-section of the population in member countries.The paper seeks to provide a preliminary assessment of the impact of the EPA on CARIFORUM countries. In so doing, it highlights some critical information and implementation gaps and challenges that have emerged during the implementation process. The analysis however, is restricted to goods trade. The services sector will be the subject of a separate report.
The paper draws on a combination of quantitative and qualitative analyses. While the paper undertakes a CARIFORUM-wide analysis for the most part, five CARIFORUM member states including Barbados, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia are examined more closely in some instances. These economies were selected by virtue of economic structure and development constraints, as a representative subset of CARIFORUM, which comprises the CARICOM membership as well as the Dominican Republic.

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.

The effects of human rights related clauses in the EU-Mexico Global Agreement and the EU-Chile Association Agreement:

Ex-Post Impact Assessment
Publisher: 
EPRS
City: 
Brussels
Volume, number, page: 
257 p.
Abstract: 
The democracy clause in the EU-Mexico Global Agreement and by extension the EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement calls for respect for fundamental human rights. If these are breached, a sanctioning clause can be invoked. The widely reported violations of human rights in Mexico are tackled through political dialogue. The agreement includes cooperation articles on social policy, the results of which are non-binding. Against this background, it is difficult to make a clear link between the potential effects of human rights related clauses in the Global Agreement on the human rights situation in Mexico. The EU-Chile Association Agreement (AA) also includes a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, which is subject to the democracy clause. More developed than that in the Global Agreement, this clause calls for respect for fundamental human rights; sustainable economic and social development; and commits parties to good governance. The AA also includes a suspension clause in case of breach of the democracy clause, and cooperation provisions, the results of which are non-binding. While these are more detailed than the ones in the Global Agreement, the impact of the EU-Chile AA on the human rights situation in Chile has been limited in its extent and to specific aspects of the social policy agenda. In both cases, the monitoring mechanisms of the EU agreements have generally been implemented properly – even if civil society participation in Chile was institutionalised late. These mechanisms have played an important role in nurturing cooperation, but the incentives created have not translated into sufficient pressure for the implementation of human rights related reforms. Rather than the EU FTAs per se impacting on ensuring the respect of human rights in Mexico and Chile, it is the cumulative effect of the liberalisation of trade in the two countries, the EU-Mexico Strategic Partnership, the role of all global players, and cooperation with international donors that have encouraged reform. Ultimately, whether or not reforms in favour of respect of human rights have been adopted and implemented was the result of domestic politics in Mexico and Chile.

The Central American agricultural sector in the run-up to negotiations for the EAA with the European Union :

potential conflicts and scenarios
Publisher: 
EUISS
Volume, number, page: 
111 p.
Category: 
Abstract: 
The present study aims to describe the current context, identify the potential points of conflict and determine some of the possible scenarios within the setting and as a result of the negotiation of an Economic Association Agreement (EAA) between the European Union (EU) and Central America (CA), in the specific case of the farming sector. The study is structured around the following set of specific objectives: Describe the relations between the European Union and Central America in terms of agriculture. Identify the main interests of the EU and CA farming sectors in the negotiations
for an Economic Association Agreement. Identify potential ‘winning’ and ‘losing’ products in Central American agricultural as a result of this economic association agreement. The study is organized into four parts: the first part (sections II, III and IV) describe the background to the EAA
negotiations and the overall importance of the farming sector for both blocks; in the next part (sections V and VI), we present in separate form the most important commercial farming interests for each block; in the third part (VII and VIII), the information from the previous sections is compared in order to locate the potential points of conflict and generate a set of hypothetical scenarios for the potential outcome of the negotiations; and finally, in the fourth part (IX), we provide a set of final comments that look to summarize the study’s findings.

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.

Forthcoming Changes in the EU Banana/Sugar Markets :

A Menu of Options for an Effective EU Transitional Package
Publisher: 
ODI
City: 
London
Volume, number, page: 
84 p.
Category: 
Abstract: 
Preferential access under the EU’s Sugar and Banana Protocols has afforded large income transfers to a number of ACP countries. These transfers will be reduced under proposed reforms to the EU’s sugar and banana markets which have had to respond to a number of internal and external pressures (e.g. CAP reform, challenges in the WTO). Although reducing preferences for banana and sugar exports from these Protocol countries will have beneficial effects on development and poverty reduction in other major producing countries which are not party to these agreements, losses for some Caribbean ACP countries will be significant relative to external income.

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).

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