Apart from trade and investment agreements, other kinds of bilateral deals signed between governments have important provisions on trade, economic, cultural, environmental and other policies at the national level. In other words, they complement FTAs and BITs in pushing governments towards new international standards "through the back door".
For example, industrialised countries have been pushing TRIPS-plus intellectual property regimes through discrete bilateral IPR agreements. Similar TRIPS-plus demands have, since some time now, also been seeping through scientific and technology cooperation agreements between rich and poor countries. And ironic as it may sound, hard core trade and investment provisions that go beyond multilateral rules come up in WTO accession agreements.
This section pulls together examples of such accords.
last update: May 2012
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