Multilateral Agreements and Global Governance of International Trade Regimes
Authors: Khorana, S.
Publisher: EU Commission projectAbstract:
This paper conceptualises how trade governance is evolving within regional trading agreements (RTAs) in the Atlantic Space. Two main research questions are posed: Can Atlantic Space agreements connect the bilateral and multilateral trade frameworks and contribute to a new framework on global trade governance? What are the areas of convergence and divergence between RTAs negotiated in the Atlantic Space and the WTO Agreements? Findings reveal that: firstly, trade liberalisation commitments undertaken with in the Atlantic Space by partner countries are driven by the aim of achieving convergence on trade rules between RTAs with WTO Agreements. Some agreements are, however, aspirational in nature. Second, the degree of trade governance convergence between Atlantic space trading arrangements and the WTO Agreements depends on the level of partner countries’ development and their integration into the world economy, suggesting that RTAs with countries that are well integrated into the world economy tend to exhibit greater convergence to WTO Agreements. However, there is a clear trend of an overlap between RTAs and WTO Agreements which can be interpreted to mean that regional agreements could support the Atlantic Space’s role as a global actor to shape a functioning multilateral order.