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Mega-regional FTAs

Image credit: Ana María Palacio/pacificallianceblog.com


In the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008, several large new trade deals have been proposed to supposedly boost production, trade and growth outside the frame of the World Trade Organisation. These deals are called “mega-regionals” because they are not between two countries alone and involve large shares of world trade or investment. The following fall into this category:

- the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between the US, Japan and 10 other countries surrounding the Pacific Ocean (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Vietnam) (click here for TPP texts);
- the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the 28-member European Union and the US (click here for TTIP texts) ;
- the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement between the 10-member Association of South-East Asian Nations (Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and six countries ASEAN already has FTAs with (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea) (click here for RCEP texts);
- the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) being hammered out between 23 countries (Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, EU, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Mauritius, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and the US) (click here for TiSA texts); and
- the Tripartite FTA (TFTA) merging three African regional economic communities: the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and East African Community (EAC).
- the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), next stage of the TFTA in which all 54 African Union states are expected to be member

The TFTA was signed in June 2015 and the TPP in February 2016, but are not yet in force. All the other deals are under negotiation.

In this section we collate leaks and texts of these agreements.

October 2016


RCEP - Services - NZ initial sectoral request lists (Oct 2015)
Requests to Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Viet Nam, dated October 2015
RCEP - trade in services chapter: proposal for a ratchet (August 2015)
1 page proposal by Australia, Korea & New Zealand as of 4 August 2015.
RCEP - trade in services chapter: summary of 9th round of negotiations (August 2015)
Minutes of services chapter negotiations at the 9th RCEP negotiating round (August 2015)
RCEP - trade in services chapter: positions on value-add elements (August 2015)
ASEAN versus other RCEP country positions on value-add elements in RCEP services chapter
RCEP - trade in services chapter negotiating text (August 2015)
RCEP services chapter consolidated negotiating text as of 5 August 2015.