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Regional Trade Agreements in Asia and The Multilateral Trade System PowerPoint Presentation
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Regional Trade Agreements in Asia and The Multilateral Trade System

Regional Trade Agreements in Asia and The Multilateral Trade System

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Regional Trade Agreements in Asia and The Multilateral Trade System

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  1. Regional Trade Agreements in AsiaandThe Multilateral Trade System Dr. Brigid Gavin United Nations University Comparative Regional Integration Studies United Nations University - Comparative Regional Integration Studies UNU/CRIS

  2. Outline of Presentation • ‘New Regionalism’ in Asia • Assessing the Impact of RTAs • WTO Rules on RTAs • Implications for the MTS • Conclusions United Nations University - Comparative Regional Integration Studies UNU/CRIS

  3. New Regionalism in Asia • New trend since 1990s • ASEAN FTA in 1992 • Goal: Economic Community 2020 • ASEAN + 3: Framework Agreements with China, Japan and South Korea • East Asia: 16 FTAs in exisxtence and 22 under negotiation United Nations University - Comparative Regional Integration Studies UNU/CRIS

  4. 2 New Aspects • New Direction • Traditional strong support for WTO • From multilateralism to regionalism? • New Trade Issues • Slow progress at WTO level • RTAs advance on new issues United Nations University - Comparative Regional Integration Studies UNU/CRIS

  5. How to assess RTAs? • Policy makers: Impact assessment? • Traditional approach to tariffs: • Trade creation vs. trade diversion • Recent approach to rule-making: • rules for new trade issues? • Coherence or fragmentation for global trade? United Nations University - Comparative Regional Integration Studies UNU/CRIS

  6. WTO rules for RTAs • RTAs recognised since 1947 • WTO rules not clear and precise • New Committee on RTAs: 1996 • No progress made on systemic rules • Current Situation: each RTA judged on inidvidual basis United Nations University - Comparative Regional Integration Studies UNU/CRIS

  7. Assessing FTAs in Asia • Manufacturing • East Asia has already low MFN tariffs • Intensive trade in ‘Factory Asia’ • FTAs will contribute few benefits • Risk: rules of origin will increase costs • Need for pan-Asian system of cumulation United Nations University - Comparative Regional Integration Studies UNU/CRIS

  8. Agriculture • Agricultural trade relatively small • Currently: sensitive sector • Collapse of Doha Round • Changing patterns of production • China may become major importer • Future: potential for regional trade United Nations University - Comparative Regional Integration Studies UNU/CRIS

  9. Services • Current FTAs: not beyond GATS • Services growing faster than goods • East Asian countries major exporters • 2 models of liberalisation: GATS and NAFTA • Implications for financial services? United Nations University - Comparative Regional Integration Studies UNU/CRIS

  10. Conclusions • Too early to say whether ‘building blocks’ or ‘stumbling blocks’ • Benefits: ‘faster’ liberalisation as MTS negotiations are stalled • Risks: rules of origin and different regulatory models in services United Nations University - Comparative Regional Integration Studies UNU/CRIS

  11. Thank you bgavin@cris.unu.edu United Nations University - Comparative Regional Integration Studies UNU/CRIS