Mega Regional Trade Agreements

Several megaregional trade agreements have been negotiated( in which a large number of countries participate). The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, involving 12 Asia-Pacific countries, including the United States and Japan, was concluded in October 2015 with the parties signed in February 2016. Although this mega-RTA was later removed by new US President Donald Trump, it could still exist among the remaining 11 countries. Two other mega-IAS – the Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP) with 16 East Asian countries and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and the EU – were also negotiated. Most SAAs are bilateral and cover two countries. However, the number of multilateral SAAs, including mega-SAs, is increasing. This work uses the Dynamic GTAP Model (GDyn) to first examine the impact of TPP and TTIP on the production, consumption, prices and trade of “harmful” products, i.e. sugar and tobacco, for the period 2015-2030 and, second, to assess the costs resulting from strict INTELLECTUAL property rules around the world, in accordance with the obligations arising from these mega-regional agreements. The analysis focuses mainly on developing countries.

The results indicate that the commitments made by developing countries have important health consequences, since, first, trade liberalization leads to a sharp increase in sugar production (about 0.3 per cent per year); Second, while stricter IP rules are likely to result in an overall net increase in gross domestic product (GDP), poorer countries suffer from the fact that even without taking into account the “health justice” argument on access to medicines, stricter IP rules risk taking action against poorer countries. Drahos P (2003) Access to Medicines: In Doha. In: Grynberg R, Turner E (ed.) Multilateral and Regional Trade Issues for Developing Countries. Commonwealth Secretariat, London Bureau, J C, R Chakir and J Gallezot (2007), “The utilisation of trade preferences for developing countries in the agri-food sector”. Journal of Agricultural Economics 58, 175-198. Before Brexit and the U.S. exit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), mega-regions were the latest trend in trade deals. The best-known examples of mega-regional agreements are the TPP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union (EU), both supported by the United States, and the Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP) between Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and ten countries of the Association of South Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The TPP and TTIP, in particular, are classic examples of mega-regional agreements aimed at introducing innovative content that reflects twenty-first century trade and economic exchanges, so obligations in “traditional and new areas of trade” are expected to have important implications for global trade regulation and law and order. . . .