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The Rise of Bilateralism: Comparing American, European, and Asian Approaches to Preferential Trade Agreements

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As multilateral negotiations become increasingly complex and protracted, preferential trade agreements have become the centerpiece of trade diplomacy. Pushing beyond tariffs into deep integration and beyond regionalism into a web of bilateral deals, these agreements are raising concerns about coercion by bigger players.

This study examines American, European, and Asian approaches to preferential trade agreements and their effect on trade, investment, and economic welfare. The ...

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Overview

As multilateral negotiations become increasingly complex and protracted, preferential trade agreements have become the centerpiece of trade diplomacy. Pushing beyond tariffs into deep integration and beyond regionalism into a web of bilateral deals, these agreements are raising concerns about coercion by bigger players.

This study examines American, European, and Asian approaches to preferential trade agreements and their effect on trade, investment, and economic welfare. The book draws on the rich field of theoretical works but also fills a gap in the literature by examining in detail the actual substance of agreements negotiated and envisaged.

With bilateralism in trade driven by foreign policy, environmental, and social concerns, as well as market access objectives, the key question is how the various negotiating forums interact. This volume argues that preferential agreements can complement the multilateral system —but only if that system is strong enough to continue to reduce barriers to trade and strengthen rules that limit the distorting effects of bilateralism.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789280811629
  • Publisher: United Nations University Press
  • Publication date: 5/26/2009
  • Pages: 276
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth Heydon is a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and a former deputy director for trade at the OECD. Stephen Woolcock is a lecturer at the London School of Economics and an associate fellow at the United Nations University–Comparative Regional Integration Studies in Bruges, Belgium.

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Table of Contents

Figures vii

Tables viii

Boxes ix

Abbreviations x

Acknowledgements xiii

Part I Introduction 1

1 Overview 3

Part II The issues: The nature and scope of PTA policy provisions 15

2 Tariffs and rules of origin 17

3 Non-tariff barriers: Commercial instruments, TBT/SPS and public procurement 46

4 Services and investment 88

5 Intellectual property rights, the environment and core labour standards 123

Part III Goals and outcomes: US, European and Asian approaches compared 143

6 The United States 145

7 The European Union 161

8 The European Free Trade Association 172

9 Japan 187

10 Singapore 196

Part IV The effects 205

11 Assessing the economic impact of PTAs 207

Part V Conclusion 229

12 Key findings and looking ahead 213

Annexes 267

1 The United States of America's preferential trade agreements 269

2 The European Union's preferential trade agreements 273

3 EFTA's preferential trade agreements and Joint Declarations on Co-operation 278

4 Japan's preferential trade agreements 284

5 Singapore's preferential trade agreements 287

References 292

Index 301

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