Topics handled by WTO committees and agreements
Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements

regional trade agreements: PROGRAMME AND PRESENTATIONS

14 November 2003
Seminar on Regional Trade Agreements and the WTO

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Welcoming Words
Roderick Abbott, Deputy Director-General, WTO


Session 1: RTAs, the multilateral trading system and the doha development agenda: current trends and future directions
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As negotiations of RTAs assume an ever more prominent role on the trade agenda of many WTO Members, keeping track of the number and scope of these agreements is becoming an increasingly elusive task. Taking stock of recent developments both regionally and multilaterally, in the context of the negotiations on RTA rules of the Doha Development Agenda, will provide an overview of the current global trading landscape and offer hints on its possible future directions.

  • RTAs and the multilateral trading system: recent developments in the global and regional trade agendas
    Clem Boonekamp, Director, Trade Policies Review Division, WTO
    Download: PowerPoint presentation 1415KB
    Download: Paper, Word document 693KB


Session 2: RTAs and MFN in the global economy: divergent or convergent paths?
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There is an active debate on the impact that the proliferation of RTAs may have on the objective of multilateral trade liberalization and its underlying principles of non-discrimination and transparency. Recent developments in the global/regional landscape can be viewed from different prisms.

  • The case for free trade and the role of RTAs
    Donald MacLaren, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Melbourne
    Download: PowerPoint presentation 223KB
    Download: Paper, pdf document 386KB

  • Competitive liberalization and the role of RTAs
    Jeffrey J. Schott, Senior Fellow, Institute for International Economics (IIE), USA
    Download: PowerPoint presentation 57KB


Session 3: RTAs as a development tool: to what extent and under which conditions?
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Case studies of South-South and North-South integration will clarify the significance of RTAs as instruments to enhance trade, foster economic development and facilitate the integration of developing economies into the global trading system.

  • Lessons from South-South Agreements: the case of Latin America
    Alberto J. Dumont, Secretary for Industry, Trade and Small and Medium Enterprises, Argentina, former Vice-Chair of the CRTA, WTO

  • North-South Agreements: Integrating developing countries into the World Trading System?
    Sanoussi Bilal, Senior Programme Officer, ECDPM, The Netherlands
    Download: presentation, pdf document, 390KB    >


Session 4: Regulatory provisions in RTAs: can and should they be symmetrical?
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Depending on its design, the trade regulatory regime enforced among parties to a given RTA may operate in a manner which adds to or detracts from parallel trade liberalization efforts pursued in other contexts. The discussion in this session will focus on the impact of concurrent trade regulatory regimes, and will explore possible paths leading to a more harmonious global trade regime.

  • A legal overview of RTAs' regulatory provisions: crossing the boundaries of GATT Article XXIV?
    James H. Mathis, Department of International Law, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Download: PowerPoint presentation 58KB
    Download: Paper, Word document 186KB
    Download: Power Word document 40KB

  • Facilitating or hindering trade: the role of rules of origin in RTAs
    Antoni Estevadeordal, Senior Trade Economist, Integration and Regional Programs Department, Inter-American Development Bank, USA
    Download: PowerPoint presentation 265KB
    Download: Paper, pdf document 1605KB

  • Standards, technical regulations and SPS provisions in RTAs
    Sungjoon Cho, Assistant Professor, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, USA
    Download: PowerPoint presentation 96KB

  • Safeguards in RTAs
    Joost Pauwelyn, Associate Professor of Law, Duke Law School, USA
    Download: PowerPoint presentation 93KB
    Download: Paper, Word document 25KB

  • Trade and competition policy: anti-dumping and anti-trust policies in RTAs
    Ian Wooton, Professor of Economics, University of Strathclyde, UK
    Download: PowerPoint presentation 943KB


Session 5: Extending RTAs beyond goods trade: trade in services, investment agreements and intellectual property
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The characteristics and economic effects of RTAs in trade in services, of provisions on intellectual property and of the growing number of investment agreements being concluded both within and outside RTA frameworks are ill known. Are interlinkages and layers adding to an ever more complex global trading system?

  • Economic integration in trade in services
    Carsten Fink, Economist, Development Research Group, The World Bank
    Download: PowerPoint presentation 173KB
    Download: Paper, pdf document 201KB

  • Investment provisions in RTAs
    William A. Dymond, Executive Director, Centre for Trade Policy and Law, Carleton University, Canada
    Download: PowerPoint presentation 36KB

  • Intellectual Property provisions in RTAs and TRIPS
    David Vivas-Eugui, Programme Manager of Intellectual Property, Technology and Services, International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development
    Download: PowerPoint presentation 234KB
    Download: Paper, pdf document 327KB


Wrap-up session and Concluding Remarks

Clem Boonekamp, Director, Trade Policies Review Division, WTO