The Politics and Outcomes of Preferential Trade Strategies: Evidence from TRIPS-Plus Provisions in US-Latin America Relations
Journal of World Trade, Vol. 50, No. 6, p. 1061-1084, 2016
24 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2016
Date Written: December 4, 2016
This article investigates the circumstances under which the agenda of intellectual property rights (IPRs) influences the decision of states to pursue preferential trade agreements (PTAs). Governments are often prone to negotiate PTAs due to distinctive pressures from IPR-intensive industries to disseminate TRIPS-Plus standards, which are particularly willing to capitalize on the advantages of preferential arrangements. To illustrate this argument, we examine the processes around the expansion of IPR provisions in the PTAs signed by the United States with Latin American countries, as enabled by the Trade Promotion Authority Act of 2002. We find that, while broad variations of TRIPS-Plus standards emerged across these PTAs, both governments and private sector tend to perceive gains from this setup, since PTAs are unlikely to undermine the IPR standards achieved by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (hereinafter ‘TRIPS Agreement’), but still provide opportunity for the promotion of higher IPR standards in each individual market.
Keywords: Intellectual Property Rights, Preferential Trade Agreements, TRIPS, United States, Latin America
JEL Classification: F13, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation