Little has been said about how the Caribbean, Central America and eventually almost all of Latin America will in a matter of years be competing directly in Europe, writes David Jessop
In October 2008, when the 15 member countries of CARIFORUM (CF) individually signed a full Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the collective European Union (EU) of 27 countries, much was made of the promise of increased benefits to Caribbean countries. Two and half years later, the promise remains unfulfilled.
Panama will attend the Caribbean Investment Forum in Trinidad and Tobago, to offer Caribbean countries like Barbados, Belize and Jamaica free trade agreements negotiations, according to an official source.
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.
Small farmer organisations from across the Caribbean have criticized regional governments and their bureaucrats for leaving them to “see for themselves” during a period of rising food prices and declining agricultural products.
In contrast with the current wide-ranging financial reform agenda in the European Union, the EU continues to liberalise a wide range of risky and non-risky financial services in the General Agreement on Trade in Services and other Free Trade Agreements as if the financial crisis never happened. This SOMO briefing paper gives specific examples on how new EU regulations are in contrast with the pre-crisis model that is still being applied in the GATS negotiations, the Cariforum-EU Economic Partnership Agreement and the EU-South Korea FTA.
Almost two years after the controversial and sweeping trade pact known as an Economic Partnership Agreement was signed between the European Union and the Caribbean Forum countries, a new study says the impact of the EPA has proved to be, as its proponents claimed, relatively mild.
Europe, unlike the Caribbean, is moving forward to establish the bodies and appoint the individuals that will from its perspective manage the implementation of the EU-Caribbean trade agreement.
A year and a half after Caribbean leaders inked a controversial and sweeping free trade pact with the European Union, concerns are emerging that the region is lagging in accessing some of its benefits
“Negotiating from Weakness” is the title of a paper written by Scott Sinclair of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Basically, the paper argues that in current negotiations with the European Union for a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Canada is negotiating from a position of weakness and this “is almost always a recipe for disaster”.
Even though Caribbean countries and the EU are supposed to be ‘partners’ under the EPA, the EC has denounced the Sugar Protocol causing Caribbean countries to lose their preferential price for sugar; the EC has agreed a new trade regime for bananas with exports from non African, Caribbean and Pacific countries that will decimate what is left of the banana industry in the Caribbean; and come June 20, the EC will renege on an undertaking to the Caribbean rum industry to help finance restructuring and marketing while at the same time reducing tariffs on competing rum from several Latin American countries.
When Caribbean leaders sit across the table from their European counterparts at a May summit in Spain, high on their agenda will be the problems experienced by banana and sugar producers in gaining meaningful access to the European market.
The European Commission has made new trade concessions to Colombia, Peru and Central America on sugar, rice, bananas and rum that may well provoke a Caribbean protest — indeed, a turning away
The European Union (EU) has not included in the Lisbon Treaty a crucial article that was a feature of treaties between the EU and African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states.
Lessons from the EU-Caribbean FTA negotiating process in view of a possible Canada-CARICOM FTA, by Norman Girvan
As the global marketplace becomes more anaemic, the Caribbean Council will next month host a forum aimed at improving private businesses’ understanding of how the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will be implemented.
The World Bank says favourable treatment offered by Europe and North America has not helped the Caribbean’s overall trade performance.
The European Parliament should gives its assent to the economic partnership agreement between the Cariforum states and the EU, provided that undertakings are given by the Commission and Council for a review clause and that extra aid for trade is included
Jamaica could become the business and industrial hub of the Caribbean and the Americas, thanks to the opportunities presented under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), signed recently between CARIFORUM States and the European Union (EU).