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Trade :

The Undervalued Driver of Regional Integration in Latin America
Publisher: 
GIGA
City: 
Hamburg
Volume, number, page: 
n.5 , pp.1-10.
Abstract: 
Many regional organisations in Latin America are currently in crisis. Trade agreements, however, have made progress in the region. Today, 80 per cent of intra-regional trade is already under preferences. In March 2017 several international financial organisations – the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) – each independently proposed the creation of a Latin American and Caribbean free trade area

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.

Regionalism and diffusion revisited :

from final design towards stages of decision-making
Publisher: 
British International Studies Association
City: 
Cambridge
Volume, number, page: 
42 : 4, pp.773-797
Abstract: 
An emerging research programme on diffusion across regional international organisations (RIOs) proposes that decisions taken in one RIO affect decision-making in other RIOs. This work has provided a welcome corrective to endogenously-focused accounts of RIOs. Nevertheless, by focusing on the final design of policies and institutional arrangements, it has been conceptually overly narrow. This has led to a truncated understanding of diffusion’s impact and to an unjustified view of convergence as its primary outcome. Drawing on public policy and sociological research, we offer a conceptual framework that seeks to remedy these weaknesses by disaggregating the decision-making process on the ‘receiving’ side. We suggest that policies and institutional arrangements in RIOs result from three decision-making stages: problematisation (identification of something as a political problem), framing (categorisation of the problem and possible solutions), and scripting (design of final solutions). Diffusion can affect any combination of these stages. Consequently, its effects are more varied and potentially extensive than is currently recognised, and convergence and persistent variation in scripting are both possible outcomes. We illustrate our framework by re-evaluating research on dispute settlement institutions in the EEC, NAFTA, and SADC. We conclude by discussing its theoretical implications and the conditions that likely promote diffusion.

Multipolarity and the Future of Regionalism :

Latin America and Beyond
Publisher: 
GIGA
City: 
Hamburg
Volume, number, page: 
n.264
Category: 
Abstract: 
This paper inquires into the effects of an emerging multipolar world on the international institution of regionalism. While IR scholarship has been making a strong case for the regionalization of world politics since the 1990s, the fact that most of the rising powers are also the sole regional powers of their home regions has led some scholars to argue that the advent of multipolarity can only strengthen this general trend toward a more regionalized international order. In this contribution, I challenge these arguments by proposing an alternative way of thinking about how ultipolarity is developing. The implications of this interpretation are that the emergence of multipolarity may actually generate powerful centrifugal forces within regions, which would have adverse effects on the known forms of regionalism that regional groupings have been implementing thus far. This applies particularly to the global South, where intraregional economic interdependencies tend to be weak. The proposition is tested by examining empirical findings across several regions and through a case study

Institutional pioneers in world politics :

regional institution building and the influence of the European Union
Publisher: 
SAGE
City: 
New York
Volume, number, page: 
23: 3, pp. 654-680
Abstract: 
What drives processes of institution building within regional international organizations? We challenge those established theories of regionalism, and of institutionalized cooperation more broadly, that treat different organizations as independent phenomena whose evolution is conditioned primarily by internal causal factors. Developing the basic premise of ‘diffusion theory’ — meaning that decision-making is interdependent across organizations — we argue that institutional pioneers, and specifically the European Union, shape regional institution-building processes in a number of discernible ways. We then hypothesize two pathways — active and passive — of European Union influence, and stipulate an endogenous capacity for institutional change as a key scope condition for their operation. Drawing on a new and original data set on the institutional design of 34 regional international organizations in the period from 1950 to 2010, the article finds that: (1) both the intensity of a regional international organization’s structured interaction with the European Union (active influence) and the European Union’s own level of delegation (passive influence) are associated with higher levels of delegation within other regional international organizations; (2) passive European Union influence exerts a larger overall substantive effect than active European Union influence does; and (3) these effects are strongest among those regional international organizations that are based on founding contracts containing open-ended commitments. These findings indicate that the creation and subsequent institutional evolution of the European Union has made a difference to the evolution of institutions in regional international organizations elsewhere, thereby suggesting that existing theories of regionalism are insufficiently able to account for processes of institution building in such contexts.

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.

Dealing with diversity The EU and Latin America today

Publisher: 
EUISS
City: 
Paris
Volume, number, page: 
n.145.
Category: 
Abstract: 
This Chaillot Paper examines the relationship between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). It contends that the original assumptions underpinning EU policy towards the region no longer apply, due to the erosion of the liberal consensus, as well as the ongoing obstacles to regional integration in LAC.
Highlighting the various shortcomings in this bi-regional relationship, the paper argues that focusing on bilateral relations between the EU and individual countries is the way to move forward today, as it is in this sphere that deeper and more concrete cooperation has been strongest. This is because this level of interaction is best suited to accommodate an increasingly diverse region.

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.

Progress in the Pattern of Intra-industrial Trade Between the European Union and Latin America

The Cases of Brazil and Mexico
Progress in the pattern of intra-industrial trade between the European Union and Latin America : the cases of Brazil and Mexico
Publisher: 
EU-LAC Foundation
City: 
Hamburg
Volume, number, page: 
253 p.
Abstract: 
This study looks into the commercial and productive relationships between the European Union (EU) and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), with a particular focus on Brazil and Mexico and their main European trade partners (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and United Kingdom). The authors of the study have traced changes in the intra-industrial trade patterns between the EU and LAC over the past two decades, and in so doing, they have adopted a novel North-South dimension which until now has not figured prominently in analyses of intra-industrial trade.

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