- Key issues
Behind every free trade and investment agreement lies a set of corporate interests. Just as they have greatly influenced the shape, scope and contents of World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, so too are transnational corporations (TNCs), sectoral industry coalitions and lobby groups mobilizing around specific bilateral trade and investment negotiations, to push even further than they were able to get at the WTO.
“Bilateral and regional FTAs …are formalized manifestations of where our respective private sectors have taken us…it is really business and government moving in tandem,” explained Susan Schwab, former US Trade Representative in 2006.
TNCs, whether acting individually or as part of industry coalitions such as the US Council on International Business (USCIB), the Emergency Committee for International Trade, the Coalition of Service Industries (US), BusinessEurope, the European Services Forum (EU) or Nippon Keidanren (Japan), are organized, aggressive and influential in their demands for specific FTAs. The comprehensiveness of most free trade and investment agreements means that there are many cross-cutting issues as well as separate chapters and provisions in these agreements which serve to shape policy regimes in the interests of TNCs.
last update: May 2012
photo: Mehr Demokratie e.V.
Frustrated by the failure of the Lisbon Agenda, big business has stepped in to force Brussels and governments across Europe to deliver on political promises designed to improve Europe’s competitiveness in the face of mounting challenges from climate change, an ageing population and Asian rivals.
Asean’s zero-tariff implementation this year has created great investment opportunities between Thailand’s biggest agro-conglomerate, the Charoen Pokphand Group, and Chinese investors with billions of US dollars to be spent on a range of projects.
Italian companies with investments in Serbia such as Fiat SpA (F.MI) will benefit from a free trade agreement signed by Russia and Serbia, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Friday.
Four Singapore-based Asia-Pacific business chambers today urged their governments to place the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations at the top of their trade policy agendas in the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting here early next month.
Chile has asked for a revision of the Korea-Chile free trade agreement, the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Sunday. Chile wants Korea to open its agricultural market wider.
Businesses are becoming less interested in the World Trade Organization’s attempts to forge a global deal as long-standing talks have yet to yield results, a private sector group affiliated with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation warned late last week.
Free trade agreements (FTAs) in Asia, particularly by South Korea and India, pose a threat to U.S. manufactured exports that will continue to be subject to relatively high tariffs, according to a new study by the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI.
President Dmitry Medvedev is embarking Tuesday on a four-day African tour, beginning with a visit to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak before moving on to Nigeria, Namibia and Angola. Medvedev’s trip appears focused on helping Russian companies gain additional access to the continent’s natural resources wealth.
The pending free trade agreement for Colombia could increase market access for soy products, but what would the impact really be? That was one of the goals of a fact-finding mission conducted by two US soybean farmers that participated in a Free Trade Agreement fact-finding mission to the South American country last week.
The coalition is being formed to address the US Department of Transportation’s recent cancellation of its Cross Border Trucking Demonstration Project and will be comprised of companies, industry organizations, trade associations and business chambers that support the North American Free Trade Agreement.