Companies in the Member States have a greater incentive to trade in new markets, thanks to attractive trading conditions, because of the policy contained in the agreements. If you have any questions about the OECD`s trade research and analysis, you can contact us directly. All our research and trade analyses can be read free of charge online on the OECD iLibrary Policymakers are aware that regional trade agreements must be compatible with multilateral rules and that coherence between regional agreements and between regional and multilateral systems is necessary. Some countries are even negotiating PDOs with the explicit intention of setting a precedent for the future establishment of multilateral rules, while others see deeper actions in regional partnerships as a way to complement the multilateral system. In both cases, there is a case for “multilateral” practices that can help foster convergence. Member States benefit from trade agreements, including by creating more employment opportunities, reducing unemployment rates and experimenting with the market. Since trade agreements are usually accompanied by investment guarantees, investors wishing to invest in developing countries are protected from political risks. “As a result, these agreements increasingly define new rules that govern trade between their parties and are not extended to all other WTO members. Moreover, for some of these issues, there are no existing WTO rules on international trade. The inclusion of these provisions indicates that there is a growing divergence between the existing WTO and ATR rules. This is another challenge for the multilateral trading system, firstly because it makes WTO rules less relevant to certain trading partners and, secondly, because WTO members that are not part of the FSA network are increasingly excluded from these rules. With regard to the first challenge, recent studies by the WTO Secretariat indicate that the divergence of some provisions may be less pronounced, given that SAAs generally tend to repeat WTO rules. With regard to anti-dumping, safeguard measures and, to some extent, standards, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, most RSTA respect the rights and obligations of the parties to the WTO.
In other areas, although ATRs create new rules, many parties tend to take a similar approach, common to all or most of their RTAs. This “model” approach could, to some extent, reduce the magnitude of the divergence. Regional trade agreements vary according to the level of commitment and agreement between Member States. The website of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) provides information on regional cooperation in South Asian countries, including cooperation in the fields of agriculture and rural development, biotechnology, energy, environment and trade and finance. SAARC offers the latest news, press releases and publications of the organization. It also allows readers to download explanations of all summits. Regional trade agreements are multiplying and changing in nature. Fifty trade agreements were in force in 1990.
In 2017, there were more than 280. In many trade agreements, negotiations today go beyond tariffs and cover several policies that influence trade and investment in goods and services, including rules across the border, such as competition policy, government procurement rules and intellectual property rights. ASAs covering tariffs and other border measures are “superficial” agreements; ATRs, which cover a larger group of policy areas, at and below the border, are “deep” agreements. . . .