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Bilateral and Regional Free Trade Agreements Some Critical Elements and Development Implications

USD 12.00 Publisher: TWN
ISBN: 978-983-2729-59-4
Year: 2008
No. of pages: 128
Size of book: 14.5cm x 21.5cm
Author: Martin Khor
About the Book

BILATERAL and regional free trade agreements (FTAs) between developed and developing countries are proliferating. They usually contain tariff-reduction commitments and disciplines deeper than at the World Trade Organisation and also contain rules that are not in the WTO.

This book argues that the comprehensive and strict obligations these FTAs impose will seriously constrain the developing-country party’s policy-making capacity to pursue national socioeconomic and development goals. As a result of this erosion of policy space and the drastic market-opening demanded by FTAs, no less than the country’s development prospects would be undermined.

This book examines the development implications of FTAs for signatory developing countries in each of the major areas typically covered by these agreements, including trade in goods, trade in services, investment, government procurement, competition policy and intellectual property rights. In light of the very real risks posed, developing countries should assess the costs and benefits of an FTA before deciding whether to enter into or conclude negotiations.

The book uses the typical FTA that the United States adopts with developing countries as the main basis of its analysis. FTAs adopted by other developed countries share many of the same features.

About the Author

MARTIN KHOR is the Director of the Third World Network. An economist trained in Cambridge University, he is the author of several books and articles on trade, development and environment issue.


Chapter 1. Bilateral Free Trade and Economic Agreements

Chapter 2. Disadvantages of FTAs Compared to Multilateral Trade Agreements

Chapter 3. Changing Views on the Effects of Liberalisation

Chapter 4. "Reciprocity" as a Principle in FTAs

Chapter 5. Main Features of FTAs Between Developed and Developing Countries

Chapter 6. Market Access in Goods

Chapter 7. Services

Does the degree of services liberalisation matter for development?

Chapter 8. Investment: Liberalisation and Investor Protection

The "Singapore issues"
Background to investment issue
Main design and features of the investment chapter
Some implications of the investment chapter in FTAs
The need for space and flexibility for investment and development policies and the effects of the FTA investment chapter

Chapter 9. Liberalisation of Government Procurement

Government procurement in trade agreements
Features of government procurement in FTAs involving the US
National policy changes needed due to FTA
Erosion of policy space and in the role of government procurement
Limited gains from US procurement market access
Effects of government procurement liberalisation under FTA

Chapter 10. Competition Policy

Background to the issue
Towards a development framework on competition for developing countries
The US proposal on competition in its FTAs:
Anti-competitive business conduct, designated monopolies and government enterprises
Development implications of the competition chapter

Chapter 11. Intellectual Property Rights

Patents and access to medicines
The developing country will be obliged to sign up to many international IP treaties
Effects on patenting of life, biodiversity, genetic resources, agriculture and farmers
Patent Cooperation Treaty
Scope of patentability
Enforcement of IP

Chapter 12. GMOs and Food Safety

Chapter 13. The European Union's Economic Partnership Agreements

Chapter 14. Need for Policy Framework and Assessment of Costs and Benefits


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This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 28 February, 2012.

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