logo logo

bilateralism & multilateralism

The rise of regionalism in international investment policymaking: consolidation or complexity?
A recent UNCTAD analysis of nine selected regional negotiations has found that, were these to lead to agreements, they could replace close to 10 per cent of today’s bilateral investment treaties (BITs).
Regional consolidation, cross-regional tie-ups, or multilateralization of East Asian FTAs?
So far, research on the impacts of free trade agreements in east Asia assume the full utilisation of preferences. This column argues that newer evidence suggests that this assumption is made in error: estimated uptake is particularly low in east Asia. If we assume a more realistic utilisation rate in estimating impacts, results suggest that actual utilisation rates significantly diminish the benefits from preferential liberalisation, but in a non-linear way. In the absence of Doha, the multilateralisation of preferences, even without reciprocity, is the practical route that is most likely to deliver the greatest benefits to WTO members.
L’OMC a-t-elle encore un avenir ?
Roberto Azedevo vient d’être choisi pour diriger l’institution à l’heure où les accords bilatéraux ont le vent en poupe. Ce type de contrats va pourtant à l’encontre du principe même de l’Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC). L’institution internationale doit-elle se sentir menacée?
Bilateral agreements easy to negotiate’
Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) could be successful if bilateral agreements between the member countries complement them.
Blanco: Free trade agreements are rendering WTO rules obsolete
Dr. Herminio Blanco, the Mexican Candidate for the position of the Director General of the World Trade Organisation, says the rules being negotiated in the WTO are becoming obsolete when compared to free trade agreements negotiated all over the world.
The role of bilateral investment treaties in mitigating project finance’s risks: The case of Colombia
Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) have been widely used as a warranty against political risks in developing countries. This paper analyzes the most substantive provisions of the Colombian signed BITs and the investment chapter of the US-Colombian FTA in order to determine their impact on risk mitigation.
Bilateral trade deals, Doha in the spotlight at Davos
The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, held in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, came to a close on Saturday 28 January, with many policymakers making a push for bilateral and regional trade pacts - including an EU-US agreement - in the absence of progress in the Doha Round.
European leaders float free trade agreement with US as talks on global deal languish
British Prime Minister David Cameron backed the idea of a free trade deal between the European Union and the U.S. on Thursday, suggesting that a trans-Atlantic pact could deliver a much-needed boost to global commerce.
Need to assess costs and benefits of FTAs
Free trade agreements designed in a different era can prevent or hinder the policy measures developing countries need to address the growing global economic crisis, and deserve to be reviewed.
ASEAN’s newer members and the Asian noodle bowl: coming to grips with multilateralism
Jayant Menon discusses the trade policy challenges faced by Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV)—the newest members of ASEAN. The paper concludes that the multilateralised single-rate system is a better alternative to the multiple-rate system and thus suggests that CLMV countries should follow the original ASEAN members and multilateralize their CEPT tariff preferences. It encourages both old and new members to do the same, especially in the context of proliferating ASEAN+1 FTAs
WTO fatigue fuels Asia-Pacific trade deal: NZ minister
Impatience with long-running world trade talks, and a desire to snap out of slow economic growth, explain why countries are flocking to a US-led Asia-Pacific free trade agreement, New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser said on Sunday.
As bilateral trade deals proceed, WIPO hears warnings, calls for change
On 1 October, eight governments – Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States – signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), negotiated entirely behind closed doors with almost no known input from the public or elected officials.
India to rely on free trade pacts amid Doha stalemate
India will keep signing free trade pacts with regional blocs and countries to boost merchandise exports, top officials said, as the World Trade Organization’s Doha round of talks remains deadlocked and economies in traditional western markets struggle to recover.
Free trade agreements: The dangerous new frontier
FTAs are worse than the WTO because they demand much more, writes Amit Sengupta
The Wrong Way to Free Trade
Late last week, a longstanding debate over free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama — deals that were negotiated under President George W. Bush but never finalized — stalled once again. President Obama supports the agreements, but only if more retraining for workers is part of the deal, a condition Republican leaders are resisting.
WTO Chief Blasts Small Pacts, Says They Hamper Global Opportunities
The World Trade Organization’s chief on Wednesday took aim at the growing number of small free-trade deals being signed among the group’s 153 member nations, saying such deals could limit opportunities with countries outside the group.
Govt hints at flexibility in WTO talks in line with FTAs
India may agree in the WTO negotiations to cut tariff in specific sectors in which the country is, any way, slashing duties under Free Trade Agreements with different countries and blocs, a Commerce Ministry official said today.
Realigning trade alliances
With the demise of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, a realignment of trade alliances is evident in the hemisphere—witness ALBA, Petro Caribe, expanded Mercosur. In the aftermath of the Lome Convention between the European Union and its former colonies of Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific, the age of preferential trade agreements came to an end and the era of reciprocal trade was born.
Doha talks on trade may need to be ended, US envoy Kirk says
The decade-old Doha round of World Trade Organization negotiations may have to be revamped or ended, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said.
SA to host SADC-Comesa-EAC free trade agreement summit this year
Before mid-year South Africa would host the next summit on the establishment of a Trilateral Free Trade Agreement (T-FTA) among the regional economic groupings of the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).