Managing the Spaghetti Bowl of Trade Agreements

A. Estevadeordal and K. Suominen

in The Sovereign Remedy?

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780199550159
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720253 | DOI:
Managing the Spaghetti Bowl of Trade Agreements

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This chapter focuses on the concerns laid out in Chapter 5 and puts forth ways of managing them. It finds that there are both theoretical and empirical reasons to believe that the PTA spaghetti bowl does present problems and transactions costs to the member economies and companies operating in the agreements tangle. One and perhaps the politically most feasible solution to the PTA tangle is convergence, a process by which the various existing PTAs become connected to each other. The prospects for convergence vary across sub-sets of PTAs and across economic sectors. There are clear PTA families centered around the United States, EU, and Mexico, in particular, wherein attaining convergence might be easiest. Any convergence drive would, however, require the members to define the scope of their effort and the stakeholders that will have to be involved, and, importantly, guarantee complementarities with the WTO system.

Keywords: preferential trading arrangements; multinational production chains; convergence; rules of origin; PTA spaghetti bowl

Chapter.  10981 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Economics

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