Beyond the WTO? An Anatomy of EU and US Preferential Trade Agreements

24 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2010

See all articles by Henrik Horn

Henrik Horn

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Bruegel

Petros C. Mavroidis

Columbia University - Law School; European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW); European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Andr Sapir

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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Abstract

It is often alleged that PTAs involving the EC and the US include a significant number of obligations in areas not currently covered by the WTO Agreement, such as investment protection, competition policy, labour standards and environmental protection. The primary purpose of this study is to highlight the extent to which these claims are true. The study divides the contents of all PTAs involving the EC and the US currently notified to the WTO, into 14 WTO+ and 38 WTO-X areas, where WTO+ provisions come under the current mandate of the WTO, and WTO-X provisions deal with issues lying outside the current WTO mandate. As a second step, the legal enforceability of each obligation is evaluated, and judged on the extent to which the text specifies clear obligations. Among the findings are: (i) EC agreements contain almost four times as many instances of WTO-X provisions as do US agreements; (ii) but EC agreements evidence a very significant amount of legal inflation (i.e. non-legally enforceable provisions) in the WTO-X category, and US agreements actually contain more enforceable WTO-X provisions than do the EC agreements; (iii) US agreements tend to emphasise regulatory areas more compared to EC agreements.

Suggested Citation

Horn, Henrik and Mavroidis, Petros C. and Sapir, Andr, Beyond the WTO? An Anatomy of EU and US Preferential Trade Agreements. The World Economy, Vol. 33, No. 11, pp. 1565-1588, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1727905 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9701.2010.01273.x

Henrik Horn (Contact Author)

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ-law.se

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ-law.se

Bruegel ( email )

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Belgium

Petros C. Mavroidis

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW) ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze
ITALY

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Andr Sapir

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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