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Regional Rules on the Global Trading System

image of Regional Rules on the Global Trading System

The proliferation of regional trade agreements (RTAs) over the past two decades has highlighted the need to look closely at the potential conflicts between regional and WTO rules or disciplines. A major obstacle to advancing understanding of RTAs is the absence of detailed information about their contents. This has limited the debate between those who view RTAs as discriminatory instruments hostage to protectionist interests and those who see them as conducive to multilateral trade opening. This book provides detailed analysis of RTA rules in six key areas - market access, technical barriers to trade, contingent protection, investment, services and competition policy - across dozens of the main RTAs in the world. The analysis helps to provide new insights into the interplay between regional and multilateral trade rules, advances understanding of the economic effects of RTAs and contributes to the discussion on how to deal with the burgeoning number of RTAs.

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Trade remedy provisions in regional trade agreements

This paper examines trade remedy provisions in regional trade agreements (RTAs). By trade remedies are meant anti-dumping, countervailing and emergency or safeguard measures. Anti-dumping and countervailing duties can be levied on exporters who engage in ‘unfair’ trading practices that cause material injury to domestic producers. These unfair trading practices can take the form of selling products below their ‘normal’ price or of benefiting from government-provided subsidies. Safeguard actions can be taken even if there is no unfair trade practice so long as imports have increased to an extent that serious injury has been suffered by domestic producers. No matter the difference in conditions under which they can be triggered, all these instruments represent internationally agreed means for a country to temporarily increase the level of trade protection received by its injured domestic industry.

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