International Economic Law and Governance: Essays in Honour of Mitsuo Matsushita

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International Economic Law and Governance offers a critical and scholarly analysis of the current and future state of international economic governance. Additional Product Features Dewey Edition.

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Show More Show Less. No ratings or reviews yet. Be the first to write a review. You may also like. Law and Government Education Textbooks. This item doesn't belong on this page. It thereby constitutes a strategic tool for states to gain market access in distant regions, but also has the effect of fragmenting international trade rules into a myriad of particular statutes pertaining to each specific agreement Acharya et al. The drivers behind the shift away from multilateralism and towards bilateralism from the turn of the millennium have been treated by Wilson Herein, three root causes for this tendency are presented as; frustration with the multilateral track, the urge of certain states to engage with more WTO Plus issues 2 , as well as a defensive rationale of avoiding trade isolation, as this sort of agreements become increasingly common Wilson, , p.

Anuradha also stresses how aversion in relation to exclusion from the quickly growing web of preferential trade agreements PTAs motivates many governments to sign these treaties, with less consideration to their long term implications Anuradha, Though some measure of scholarly agreement regarding the general movement towards PTAs can be ascertained, its broader consequences appear rather more blurred. The fragmentary dynamics within the institutional framework s for global commerce have often been viewed with concern within the literature of international trade.

Bhagwati assumes a critical stance towards the proliferation of PTAs, due to their exclusionary nature, and to the complexities and distortions which numerous rules of origin and overlapping regulations entail. The author furthermore highlights the asymmetries implied by PTAs in terms of non-trade related demands, which they may serve to impose particularly on developing nations, on behalf of developed countries Bhagwati, Another pitfall associated with the spread of PTAs, as accentuated by Josling, is that they might tend to grab the low-hanging fruits by concluding agreement on less complicated issues, referring more difficult matters to the WTO, and thus ultimately leaving additional obstacles to solve within this forum Josling, , p.

Julien Chaisse and Tsai-yu Lin

Yet, the recent surge of a myriad intertwined PTAs has, according to Solis and Wilson , provided an incentive to seek more comprehensive arrangements. In spite of the difficulties of effectively launching the mega-regionals - not least due to a variety of geopolitical concerns involved - such perspectives become interesting in so far as they approximate an explanation of the rise of this new template for trade agreements as a systemic response to the lack of an ordering framework for global trade.

This makes it possible to view the attempts at constructing these treaties as part of a structural dynamic which might become manifest through its concretizations in TTIP, TPP, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership RCEP , but which cannot be limited to these specific negotiation processes. At their presently embryonic state, some debate revolves around whether mega-regionals may be viewed as an essentially novel pillar of the international trading system.

Nakagawa describes the advent of mega-regionals as the hitherto culmination of a turn towards the incorporation of non-tariff issues within the institutional framework for global commerce. Although elements of deep-regulation may be visible in previous agreements, the expression which they assume through mega-regionals seems to be of an unprecedented extent. Bown highlights that while RTAs proliferating in the s included non-tariff disciplines, the period after the financial crisis has seen increased demands from businesses in developed countries to reduce certification-related and regulatory costs.

Regulatory coherence between standards in the EU and the US has thus come to stand as an absolutely central part of the TTIP negotiations; both due to the goal of reducing divergence of regulation between these two regions, but also with a broader intention of seeing the global dissemination of these norms Bown, The new disciplines on the table in these negotiations have been summarized by authors in the area as public procurement, competition policy, transparency measures, investment protection, intellectual property, environmental and labor standards, industrial policies, state-owned enterprises, as well as the harmonization and convergence around technical standards Bull et al.

The TTIP appears to stand as the mega-regional proposal with the strongest degree of permeation of legislative areas normally situated within the scope of national political authority - also making it the object of much negative sentiment which apparently has stalled the further advance of its present configuration. This unprecedented allocation of regulative authority below the TTIP has made Young depict it as highly extensive in terms of both breadth and depth; comprising of a broad arrays of economic and administrative subfields, which become deeply restructured and inserted below the clauses of this accord Young, The authors reviewed have thus been inclined towards associating mega-regionals with a dynamic within the global trading system, which implies a rather profound institutionalization of internationally agreed norms and benchmarks at the national level, facilitating deep economic integration between signatories.

It follows that due to the scope of the agreements under negotiation, they do not only wield the potential to intensify economic interactions between member states, but also constitute a process which depending on the specific provisions eventually established may impact third-countries significantly. While Viner stressed the potential for trade creation among the member states which such agreements might wield, he similarly pointed towards the pitfall of trade diversion which the shift of procurement from a low-cost third-country, toward a high-cost member state might bring about Viner, It may thus be argued that an initial evaluation of the impact of mega-regional trade agreements on third-countries should aim to assess the likely extend of trade diversion.

Some observers tend to deemphasize the risk of trade diversion in contemporary global commerce. Hoekman underlines that the fact that relatively few tariff barriers exist between the global economic core regions today, means that the extend of trade diversion due to commercial integration probably also will be limited.

Yet, the elimination of tariff peaks in specific sectors may still divert trade from countries excluded from these agreements Hoekman, , p.

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Yet, as this only concerns goods produced in the EU or the US, the export composition of many developing countries - largely characterized by primary commodities often imported by both the EU and the US - means that trade diversion becomes less likely Gill et al. The likeliness of trade diversion due to proliferating PTAs is also questioned by Mavroidis, who accentuates the lack of clear empirical evidence in relation to this question Mavroidis, Some measure of preoccupation can also be detected within the debates regarding the potential for trade diversion resulting from preferential trade arrangements.

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Furthermore, membership of multiple RTAs is found to have a negative effect on the extend of direct trade creation of these agreements. Rather than promoting trade, the high administrative costs due to the superposition of RTAs are found to lead to considerable trade diversion Sorgho, This leaves the question of whether the signature of mega-regionals would further exacerbate this problem, or whether their uniformization of standards might help to alleviate the fragmentation of rule systems.

Apart from direct effects in terms of trade creation- and diversion, Freytag et al. Such indirect effects may concretize as tariff-jumping 3 or trade deflection 4 , but also through dynamic effects of liberalization. The latter refers to productivity gains of companies inside a free-trade area due to economies of scale and increased capital accumulation, which tends to become evident in a long-term perspective Freyteg et al.

Increased attention towards dynamic effects therefore appears highly important in any preliminary analysis of the global impacts of mega-regional agreements, in spite of the difficulties associated with the estimation of their gradually increasing significance over time. Notwithstanding the risk of traditional trade diversion associated with the lowering of tariff rates within large FTAs, scholarly discussions regarding mega-regionals have mainly revolved around the possible consequences of mutual approximation of regulatory standards. Discrimination in NTB reductions, inconsequential reductions, and potentially increased costs of compliance are also highlighted by Francois et al.

The impact on third-countries of regulatory convergence will likely depend on the particular mechanisms adopted. Options for regulatory convergence are manifold, but some central categories comprise of mutual recognition of standards 5 , harmonization 6 of standards, and co-ordination 7 De Ville, , p. Yet, a key point in this regard also appears to be related to the question of whether, and to what degree, these preferences are extended to outsiders.

Another body of literature tends to emphasize the potential for positive spillovers on third-parties of regulatory convergence in mega-regional trade agreements.

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Akman et al. As follows, their potential to benefit third-parties depends on the particular shape they are given within the agreement, and of their level of restriction to insiders Akman et al. In a similar vein, Aichele and Felbermeyer stress the importance of the specific rules established for third-countries. Regulatory harmonization among parties in a trade agreement may, according to a study conducted by Shepherd , serve to increase exports from third-countries to this area. This becomes contingent upon whether compliance costs surpass potential profit from simplification and universalization of standards.

Baldwin a draws a clear distinction between tariff-related differentiations between insiders and outsiders in traditional trade agreements - characterized as hard preferences - and the regulatory elements of new trade agreements - referred to as soft preferences. Baldwin sustains that such trends within mega-regional trade agreements are more likely to benefit third-countries, than the hard preferences previously characterizing trade agreements Baldwin, a.

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The increasing internationalization of commodity chains and cross-border investments are also held by Herwig as important factors which provide an incentive for insiders of trade agreements to avoid excessively high regulatory barriers, to facilitate operations of enterprises active in third-countries. This even makes the author question whether the notion of national regulatory sovereignty is tenable, stressing that international economic interconnection might pose different imperatives to seek a supra-national pooling of regulatory authority Herwig, , p. A somewhat more critical stance towards the potential impact on third-countries of the mega-regional agreements has been adopted by other authors within the field.

A crucial point relates to the adaptive capacity which developing countries possess in order to respond to changes in the regulatory framework within such an extensive free-trade area Schmieg, Ulgen also draws attention to the risk of regulatory trade diversion which the TTIP template implies for third-countries with a higher degree of exposure to international market changes Ulgen, The same issues are raised by Ciuriak in relation to the TPP, who indicates that discriminatory NTB reductions and exclusion of service-providing developing countries, such as India, could have very negative impacts.

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International Economic Law and Governance. Essays in Honour of Mitsuo Matsushita. Edited by Julien Chaisse and Tsai-yu Lin. Critically. Mitsuo Matsushita is one of the most significant figures in international economic law. His scholarship has addressed the most pressing issues in international.

Yet, more inclusive rules of origin and investment liberalization are claimed to mitigate some of these consequences Ciuriak, , p. Thus, while this finding indicates that wealthy third-countries may benefit from harmonization, it also hints at the negative spillovers implied by rigorous rules of origin, and risks of poorer countries not possessing the recourses to adapt to new regulatory norms. A more pronounced degree of skepticism regarding the alleged beneficial spillover on third-parties is presented by Aggerwal and Evenett Apart from potential investment diversion away from third-countries and towards FTA members, the authors also list a series of risks of regulatory discrimination, favoring insiders vis-a-vis outsiders in a trade agreement, such as; regulatory exemptions, favorable tests, faster reviews, leniency in punitive measures, broader appeal rights, and targeting of enforcement recourses towards members p.

Such preoccupations may also be supported by Matoo, who finds that while regional regulatory harmonization has the effect of increasing intra-regional trade, as well as exports from third-party developed countries, exports from developing third-party countries decline Matoo, On a developing country firm-level, Maskus et al. The particular impact though, appears to vary, and to be highly dependent on the adaptive capacity, existing domestic legislation, and sectorial composition of the specific third-country in question. The significance of Mercosul as a center-piece for Brazilian international insertion became evident from this point in time.

At the outset of the 21 st century, Brazil dedicated many efforts at multilateral negotiations, which nonetheless became frustrated with the inconclusiveness of the Doha Round. The restrictions posed by the impossibility of negotiating on an individual country basis, due to the common external tariff, have made some observers highlight the danger of commercial isolation in a context of negotiation of mega-regional agreements Canuto, ; Illescas, ; Torezani, , and call for a re-orientation of Brazilian global economic integration Braga, ; Pereira, ; Thorstensen, This points to the relevance of reviewing the possible consequences of standing outside the process of mega-regional consolidation, through projections which so far have been on the table.

A frequently cited study has been conducted by Thorstensen and Ferraz , who examine the consequences of Brazilian exclusion from the TTIP and TPP, in scenarios implying different degrees of tariff and non-tariff reductions. This suggests that exclusion from agreements that apply a strong focus on regulatory issues may lead to notable costs for Brazil, while the impacts from pure tariff reduction within free-trade zones are relatively negligible.

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A noteworthy element in Thorstensen and Ferraz can be found in their projections of the economic implications of the conclusion of preferential trade agreements among Brazil and the US and EU 27, in scenarios of different degrees of tariff and NTB reduction, which are listed in Table 1 below:. Though very marked gains in terms of export increases can be registered, imports surge even more significantly in all of the scenarios listed, indicating the potential of trade balance deficits. The authors project the changes in trade flows between a range of signatories and third-countries, under the presumption that all transatlantic tariff barriers are eliminated, and that NTBs are reduced to an average level for existing PTAs.

The study finds that the conclusion of TTIP would lead to a decline in Brazilian exports and value added transfers in the case of both member countries and third-parties, as is displayed in Table 2 below:. While Brazilian exports and value added transfers to the EU 27 remain unchanged, a moderate decline can be registered in the case of ASEAN and China, and a more significant fall becomes evident with regards to the US, Canada, and Mexico.

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Yet, one of the central pillars of the TTIP relates to the ambition of reaching a high degree of regulatory convergence and harmonization. Part I. The same issues are raised by Ciuriak in relation to the TPP, who indicates that discriminatory NTB reductions and exclusion of service-providing developing countries, such as India, could have very negative impacts. Julien Chaisse , Tsai-yu Lin. The study finds that the conclusion of TTIP would lead to a decline in Brazilian exports and value added transfers in the case of both member countries and third-parties, as is displayed in Table 2 below:. Tsai- yu Lin.

Yet, one of the central pillars of the TTIP relates to the ambition of reaching a high degree of regulatory convergence and harmonization. The study therefore contains simulations in which the premise of moderate NTB reductions is changed to significant standards harmonization. Thus, when the potential positive effects of regulatory harmonization spillovers are taken into account, it becomes more difficult to make a conclusive evaluation of whether the TTIP would affect Brazil negatively.

So, in spite of painting a muddy picture of the particular consequences of standards harmonization within mega-regionals, in likeness with Thorstensen and Ferraz , the projections of Aichele et al. A study conducted by Felbermeyer et al. It should be noted that Felbermeyer et al. Cai et al. Fleishhaker et al. European imports of Brazilian raw material inputs are also found to rise under the TTIP, which nonetheless is negatively compensated by declines in Brazilian exports to the US and China. It is therefore highlighted that the indirect effects of the mega-regionals might well be to further lock Brazil into a role as a global primary commodity supplier.