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RTA as an International Institution: A Multi-Dimensional Comparison of its Institutional Arrangement

Tomohiko Kobayashi

Otaru University of Commerce

July 8, 2008

Society of International Economic Law (SIEL) Inaugural Conference 2008 Paper

While institutional arrangement is inevitable for the effective functioning of RTAs after the entrance into force, and it would be the more the case as time goes by, there have been few empirical researches on this issue. Thus, this paper tries to take the initial steps toward empirical analysis of institutional arrangement for RTAs, to clarify how it should be designed for each RTA according to its specific features.

Firstly, we focus on several core provisions that regulate institutional operation of RTAs, namely (1) provisions relating to the institutional structure of RTAs, (2) provisions relating to the relationship with other agreements and (3) provisions relating to later changes to RTAs.

Secondly, we evaluate the role of the said provisions through three-dimensional comparison of RTAs concluded by the target country, that is, (a) comparison among RTAs concluded by the target country X with different partners (we call these RTAs as Target Country's RTAs); (b) comparison between the RTAs concluded between Country Y and third countries Z (we call these RTAs as Partner's RTAs) and the Target Country's RTAs; and (c) comparison between other trade-related treaties that Country X concluded with the same Country Y (we call these treaties as Parallel Agreements) and the Target Country's RTAs. By focusing on the RTAs concluded by the specific country, we can expect meaningful comparison among different RTAs; by referring to the Partner's RTAs, we can examine the degree of partner-dependency; and by referring to Parallel Agreements, we can highlight institutional features specific to RTAs.

Particularly, we assess the feasibility of this comparison analysis with special focus on Japan as the target country.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

Keywords: Regional Trade Agreements, RTA, Institutional arrangement, Institutional operation, Institutional structure, Target country, Parallel agreement

JEL Classification: F02, F10, F13, F14, F15

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Date posted: July 8, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Kobayashi, Tomohiko, RTA as an International Institution: A Multi-Dimensional Comparison of its Institutional Arrangement (July 8, 2008). Society of International Economic Law (SIEL) Inaugural Conference 2008 Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1156856 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1156856

Contact Information

Tomohiko Kobayashi (Contact Author)
Otaru University of Commerce ( email )
3-5-21 Midori
Otaru, Hokkaido 047-8501
+81-134-27-5380 (Phone)
+81-134-27-5380 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.otaru-uc.ac.jp/~kobayashi/
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