What is the economic partnership agreement
International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. What is it worth?
But the results were disappointing. A total of 27 countries opted out, 15 in Africa, 12 in the Pacific. The scope of the agreement was reduced to trade in goods with the exception of the Caribbean EPAalthough there were commitments to continue to negotiate services in the future.
The development chapter largely fell short of expectations, with the exception of West Africa, that negotiated a development package to finance needs of implementation. EPAs broadened the trade coverage for ACP products compared to the previous unilateral trade preferences.
Under the unilateral regime, 97 percent of ACP products entered the EU market on a preferential basis. While the rules of origin RoOs improved quite substantially from the previous regime, cummulation provisions — that is, provisions that allow countries to source products from neighbouring countries to transform locally and still qualify for exports to the EU - varied significantly across regions, with some regions having more possibilities than others.
Economic Partnership Agreements
Administrative customs cooperation has still not been addressed, which means that over the past 12 years, ACP countries have not been able to source regional inputs or use EPAs to foster the development of regional value chains for exporting to the EU. Further, liberalisation was not immediate, and tariffs will be phased down over at most 25 years for at last 75 percent of products, depending on the regions.
In most cases, agricultural products remained sensitive, and were therefore not subject to liberalisation. The table below summarises liberalisation commitments in all EPA regions. The agreements contain some degree of flexibility that allows countries to pursue their economic transformation reforms, including the use of industrial policies to diversify their economic base.
Economic partnership agreement
For example, while the agreements regulate export restrictions, countries can still use them under specific circumstances. Support will focus on trade, agriculture, infrastructure, energy and capacity building for civil society development.
Despite the initial stated ambition, most EPAs, with the exception of the Cariforum EPA, remain partial agreements that focus narrowly on trade in goods. Trade in services is not covered and countries did not take any audacious steps to frame rules on other trade-related issue such as investment, competition or data protection. To be sure, many developing countries, and in particular LDCs, may not be ready institutionally or capacity-wise to adopt far-reaching rules that go deeper than what the WTO covers or even to venture into areas that are not covered by the WTO.
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The EPAs with the different regions are at different states of play. Due to the continuing WTO incompatibility of previous arrangements, the EPAs' key feature is their reciprocity and their non-discriminatory nature.
They involve the phased out removal of all trade preferences which have been established between the EU and the ACP countries since as well as the progressive removal of trade barriers between the partners. In order to fulfil the criterion of being a non-discriminatory agreement, the EPAs are open to all developing countries[ citation needed ] thereby effectively terminating the ACP group as the main development partner of the EU.
The solution proposed for this dilemma is an agreement which is only as reciprocal as necessary to fulfil WTO criteria. In reality, the ACP countries will have some room to manoeuvre and to maintain some limited protection of their most vital products.
What Is an Economic Partnership Agreement?
The extent to which trade must be liberalised under the new EPAs is still a widely debated issue and it remains to be seen whether the WTO provisions economic regional trade agreements will be revised in favour of the EPA scheme at the end of the Doha Round.
In theory, the EPA will promote economic development the improve the quality of life of citizens within the member nation. However, as the nonreciprocal trade preferences phase out, member nations will lose income derived from charging tariffs on EU products.
Whether or not the loss is significant will depend on how member nations have changed their fiscal policies. Michele Jensen started writing professionally for businesses in Her agreements include articles for eHow, Answerbag and COD, marketing materials and project-related documentation.
She what her Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Houston and a Master of Science partnership in international relations from Troy State University.