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    SummaryPapersLinksRegionalism SummaryRegional trade agreements continue to proliferate as progress on the Doha Round has slowed. Free trade blocs formed by agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and customs unions such as the European Union (EU) have allowed countries to lower trade barriers among neighbors and political allies, while retaining flexibility over which sectors to liberalize and which issues to negotiate. Recently, there has been a surge of regional trade agreements (RTAs): about 162 RTAs are in force as of 2002 with over half of those coming into existence after 1995. The WTO estimates that over 300 will be in effect by 2007.[1] RTAs, such as the ones being negotiated between the EU and Latin America, and between the US and the Association of South East Asian Nations, reflect a trend of trade liberalization outside of traditional regional boundaries. The collapse of the Cancun Ministerial Conference has underscored the difficulties inherent in that multilateral agreements and that many countries have focused on RTAs as the primary means of opening up international trade. In the context of the struggling Doha Round and ever-expanding RTAs, what effect does regionalism have on multilateral trade negotiations? What role the WTO should play in moderating RTAs?The WTO's Role in Regulating RTAsIn general, the WTO mandates that each member accord Most Favored Nation (MFN) status to all other WTO members. However, it allows an exception for regional trade initiatives that extend different terms of trade to participating countries, stipulating that an RTA must comply with two main requirements outlined in the GATT Article XXIV. First, the agreement must lower trade barriers within the regional groups. Second, the agreement cannot raise trade barriers for non-participating members. The Committee on Regional Trade Agreements, established by the WTO to examine each agreement, tries to reconcile the rules of the specific RTA with those governing multilateral trade agreements. The process becomes difficult in areas where WTO rules are vague and inconsistent, particularly those regarding dispute settlement and retaliation measures. The WTO has placed great emphasis on the need to tighten up its own policies in the face of RTA proliferation. Should the WTO encourage RTAs? Proponents of RTAs argue that they help nations gradually work towards global free trade by allowing countries to increase the level of competition slowly and give domestic industries time to adjust. In addition, RTAs can be valuable arenas for tackling volatile trade issues such as agricultural subsidies and trade in services. Political pressures and regional diplomacy can resolve issues that cause deadlock in multilateral negotiations. Proponents of RTAs, such as the US trade representative Robert Zoellick, a number of economists, and trade policy analysts, describe them as circles of free trade that expand until they finally converge to form expansive multilateral agreements.[2]Other policy analysts express doubt about the benefit of booming RTAs. Some describe them as a complex web of competing trade interests that hinder multilateral agreement. Because RTAs create preference systems that transcend regional boundaries, some argue that political and economic tensions will lead to hostility and increased retaliation.[3] The fear is that anti-dumping charges will increase and the dispute settlement process in the WTO will be complicated by unclear and conflicting regional trade laws. Additionally, RTAs may negatively impact global trade because regional preferences and rules of origin distort production by making location of production or source of raw materials the driving incentive.[4] Others fear that RTAs prevent complete liberalization in the multilateral arena. Countries that benefit from regional trade agreements may be reluctant to expose themselves to the risks of opening their markets on a multilateral level if they expect relatively insignificant returns. FTAA NegotiationsThe Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) is the most ambitious regional trade agreement proposed to date. Negotiating countries include every nation in the Americas except Cuba with a total population of 800 million and a market of $13 trillion. Difficulties between Brazil and America, co-chairs of the negotiations, have resulted in a scaled down version of the agreement (dubbed "FTAA á la carte") that allows countries to opt out of certain contentious areas like agriculture subsidies, investment, intellectual property rights, and anti-dumping.[5] According to the Ministerial Declaration issued November 20, 2003 in Miami, countries that agree to additional obligations are eligible for additional benefits. The pared down version of the agreement is due in part to domestic political pressures: because of a strong domestic farm lobby, the US has always refused to negotiate agriculture subsidies outside of the WTO, while Brazil's domestic business interests do not want to deregulate foreign investment or tighten enforcement of intellectual property rights. Opponents of this pared-down agreement, mainly Canada and Chile, criticize the attempt to limit the scope of FTAA, arguing that it makes the free trade area meaningless. They argue that the US and Brazil are setting the agenda at the expense of the other participating members who are interested in liberalizing more than just import tariffs.[6] However, since the US and Brazil are the co-chairs, and also the two largest markets in the hemisphere, they are responsible for setting the agenda for what will be negotiated. The result is a two-tiered framework, with all participating countries agreeing to tariff reductions on foreign imports, and some countries opting out of negotiations on intellectual property rights, investment, and agriculture liberalization. While the FTAA talks have been bolstered by this new compromise, trade representatives do not expect the free trade area to be finalized by its deadline, January 2005.[7]Lessons from NAFTAWhile most Latin American countries agree that access to the US market would reinvigorate their economies, there has been disagreement about whether the FTAA would benefit participating members. The Carnegie Endowment, a Washington-based research institute, reported that real wages in Mexico have gone down, income inequality has risen, and immigration to the US has continued to increase.[8] The rural, subsistence farmers and the environmental health of Mexico have suffered the most since NAFTA. There is no guarantee that trade liberalization is a cure for poverty or a recipe for improved standards of living. A World Bank report presents evidence that NAFTA has buoyed the Mexican economy and that without the free trade area, wages and poverty levels would have been worse as the country struggled to recover from a severe financial crisis in 1994. Despite the conflicting conclusions about NAFTA, some lessons can be drawn from the Mexican experience going into the FTAA negotiations. The Carnegie Endowment recommends that Latin American countries should bargain for slower tariff reductions on agriculture products unless the US is willing to shed its exorbitant subsidies. US Trade PolicyFor the past two years, US trade policy has become intertwined with the political objectives of rewarding allies in the war against terrorism and promoting national security.[9] For example, the US Trade Representative delayed signing RTAs with Chile and New Zealand after the countries openly opposed the US war in Iraq. As President Bush tries to garner support for re-election in 2004, it is increasingly unlikely that the US will make concessions on its massive agriculture subsidies in WTO negotiations, or conclude any controversial trade agreements. The passage of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in August 2002 had a significant impact on US trade policy by making it easier for the President to negotiate and conclude RTAs. TPA, also known as fast track, grants the President the authority to directly negotiate trade agreements, bypassing the arduous task of gaining support from Congress. Critics of TPA, representing sectors of the economy that are traditionally reluctant to remove trade barriers such as agriculture, steel, automobile, and textiles, are wary of how much freedom TPA gives the President going into FTAA negotiations.SingaporeSingapore has recently concluded an RTA with the US, and has been a major advocate of a RTA between ASEAN countries plus China, Japan, and South Korea slated for the next twenty years. Its active role and interest in regional agreements can be explained by the boom in trade between the Asian countries, and the desirability of access to the US market. Singapore is also an attractive country for RTAs because it has a fairly open and transparent economy, with good opportunities for investment in telecommunications, e-commerce, finance, and other services - sectors which were previously protected by trade barriers.[10] The Singapore-US agreement has been heralded as a model for reducing barriers to investment and strengthening intellectual property rights. However, some NGOs that are particularly concerned with the environmental and economic impacts of deregulated investment argue that the agreement represents the primacy of the US's interests over the welfare of Singapore. Questions remain about what effects intellectual property rights enforcement will have on public health. [11]ChinaChina has captured the world's attention because of its enormous market for imports, its high growth rates, and its new WTO membership. ASEAN countries have already begun vying for RTAs with China in the hopes of re-building economic stability and renewing growth that was shaken by the East Asian economic crisis of 1997.[12] Mexico, and other Latin American countries that have specialized in manufactured goods, are feeling an export pinch as Chinese goods replace theirs in the US market. Lower wages, high productivity, and falling transportation costs have made China much more competitive than Mexico in exporting toys, shoes, and small electronics. On the other hand, countries that export agriculture commodities like Argentina and Brazil have benefited from the endless Chinese demand for soy beans, beef, grains, and produce.[13] In response to continually frustrated efforts to open the US agriculture market, these countries may turn to China an alternative market.[14] Recent RTAsFor a list of RTA notifications to the WTO, visit:RTA list linkRTAs by Date Concerns and Issues Surrounding RTAsThere are concerns that RTAs are incomplete, unequal, or counter-productive that even those who support the recent proliferation of the agreements believe must be addressed. The volume of RTA activity stretches negotiation capacities to their limit, and in the case of developing countries, prevents them from actively participating in all proceedings. The WTO has partnerships with the United Nations and the World Bank to build capacity in smaller countries and give aid money to support participation in trade negotiations.Additionally, there is a fear that in agreements formed outside the WTO, developing countries do not have the power of collective bargaining to negotiate RTAs (particularly bilateral agreements) that are in their best interest. For example, Chile recently concluded an agreement with the US in which it committed to lowering tariffs on agriculture products and deregulating investment, but could not gain any concessions from the US regarding farm subsidies. Since developing countries often depend on progress made in the WTO on sensitive issues it is important that multilateral negotiations retain a top priority.地方主義概略地方貿易協定繼續激增因為在杜哈的進展圓減慢了。自由貿易團體形成了由協議譬如北美洲自由貿易協議(NAFTA) 並且關稅同盟譬如歐共體(歐共體) 允許國家降低貿易壁壘在鄰居和政治盟友之中, 當保留靈活性區段自由化和發布談判。最近, 有是地方貿易協定(RTAs) 浪湧: 大約162 RTAs 是生效2002 年自以那些的結束一半進入存在在1995 年以後。WTO 估計那300 將是實際上由2007.[1 ] RTAs, 譬如那□談判在歐共體和拉丁美洲之間, 和在美國和東南亞洲國家的協會之間, 反射商業自由化趨向在傳統地方界限外面。Cancun 大臣會議的崩潰強調了困難固有由於多邊協議並且那許多國家集中於RTAs 作為開放國際貿易主要手段。就奮鬥杜哈的狀況圓和曾經擴展RTAs, 地方主義有什麼作用在多邊貿易會談? WTO 應該充當在減輕RTAs 的什麼角色? 在調控RTAs 的WTO 的角色 總之, WTO 託管各份成員協議多數偏愛的國家(MFN) 狀態對所有其它WTO 成員。但是, 它允許例外為傳播不同的貿易條件到參與國家的地方商業主動性, 規定, RTA 必須遵照二個主要要求被概述在GATT 文章上XXIV 。首先, 協議必須降低貿易壁壘在地方小組心頭。其次, 協議無法培養貿易壁壘為不參加的成員。委員會在地方貿易協定, 由WTO 建立審查各個協議, 設法和解具體RTA 的規則以那些治理的多邊貿易協定。過程成為困難在WTO 規則隱晦和不一致的區域, 特別那些關於爭執解決和報復措施。WTO 給予了對需要的巨大重視拉緊它自己的政策在RTA 擴散面前。 WTO 應該鼓勵RTAs 嗎? RTAs 的擁護者爭辯說, 他們逐漸幫助國家運作往全球性自由貿易在允許國家旁邊慢慢地增加競爭的水平並且給國內產業時間調整。另外, RTAs 可能是可貴的競技場為應付volatile 商業問題譬如農業補貼和換在服務。政治壓力和地方外交可能解決導致僵局在多邊交涉的問題。RTAs 的擁護者, 譬如美國貿易代表羅伯特・Zoellick, 一定數量的經濟學家, 和貿易政策分析員, 描述他們作為擴展自由貿易的圈子直到他們最後聚合形成膨脹的多邊agreements.[2 ] 其它政策分析員表達對興旺的RTAs 的好處的疑義。一些描述他們作為妨害多邊協議競爭的交易權益的一個複雜網。由於RTAs 創造超越地方界限的特選系統, 一些爭辯說, 政治和經濟緊張將導致敵意並且增加的retaliation.[3 ] 恐懼是反傾銷充電將增加並且爭執解決過程在WTO 將由不明和矛盾的地方貿易法複雜化。另外, RTAs 也許消極地衝擊全球性貿易因為地方特選和規則起源變形生產由做地點生產或原材料的來源駕駛的incentive.[4 ] 其他人擔心, RTAs 防止完全自由化在多邊舞臺。受益於地方貿易協定的國家也許勉強暴露自己於打開他們的市場風險在一個多邊水平上如果他們期待相對地無意義回歸。 FTAA 交涉 美洲的自由貿易區(FTAA) 是最雄心勃勃的地方貿易協定迄今提議。談判的國家包括每個國家在美洲除了古巴有總人口800 百萬和市場$13 兆。困難在巴西和美國, 交涉的聯合主席之間, 導致協議(取綽號的"FTAA 3a la 菜單的" 一個被縮減的版本) 允許國家選擇出於某些引起爭論的區域像農業補貼、投資、知識產權, 和anti-dumping.[5 ] 根據大臣聲明被發布2003 年11月20 日在邁阿密, 讚成另外的義務是有資袼另外的好處的國家。被削去在協議下的版本是適當一部分對國內政治壓力: 由於一個強的國內農廠大廳, 美國總拒絕談判農業補貼在WTO 外面, 當巴西的國內商業利益不想要對國外投資解除管制或加強知識產權的執行。 這被削去下來的協議、主要加拿大和智利的對手, 批評嘗試限制範圍FTAA, 爭辯說, 它使自由貿易區無意義。他們爭辯說, 美國和巴西設置議程犧牲是對自由化感興趣更多比進口tariffs.[6 ] 然而的其它參與成員, 從美國並且巴西是聯合主席, 並且並且二個最大的市場在半球, 他們負責對設置議程為什麼將談判。結果是一個二tiered 框架, 用所有參與國家讚成關稅減少外國進口, 和一些國家選擇在交涉外面知識產權、投資, 和農業自由化。當FTAA 談話由這新妥協支持了, 貿易代表不盼望自由貿易區在它的最後期限, 完成1月之前2005.[7 ] 教訓從NAFTA 當多數拉丁美洲的國家同意對美國市場的通入使他們的經濟恢復生氣, 有是分歧是否FTAA 會有益於參與成員。卡內基捐贈, 一個基於華盛頓的研究所, 被報道, 實際工資在墨西哥下來了, 收入不平等上升了, 並且移民到美國繼續了對increase.[8 ] 農村, 生存農夫並且墨西哥環境健康最遭受了從NAFTA 。沒有保證, 商業自由化是治療貧窮或一份食譜為改善的生活水準。世界銀行報告提出證據, NAFTA 漂浮墨西哥經濟並且沒有自由貿易區, 1994 年薪水並且貧瘠程度更壞因為國家奮鬥從一次嚴厲金融危機恢復。儘管矛盾的結論關於NAFTA, 一些教訓可能得出從墨西哥經驗進入FTAA 交涉。卡內基捐贈推薦, 拉丁美洲的國家應該講價更加緩慢的關稅減少在農業產品除非美國是願意流洒它的過高補貼。 美國貿易政策 過去二年, 美國貿易政策成為了交錯以獎勵的盟友政治宗旨在戰爭中反對恐怖主義並且促進全國security.[9 ] 例如, 美國貿易代表被延遲簽署RTAs 與智利和紐西蘭在國家以後公開反對美國戰爭在伊拉克。2004 年因為布希總統設法獲取支持對於改選, 它是越來越不太可能的, 美國將做讓步在它巨型的農業補貼在WTO 交涉, 或達成所有有爭議的貿易協定。商業促銷當局的段落(TPA) 在8月2002 日有對美國貿易政策的重大衝擊由使它容易對總統談判和結束RTAs 。TPA, 亦稱快速的軌道, 津貼總統當局直接地談判貿易協定, 繞過獲得支持艱鉅任務從國會。TPA 的評論家, 代表傳統上勉強去除貿易壁壘譬如農業、鋼、汽車, 和紡織品經濟的區段, 對多少是機警的自由TPA 給總統進入FTAA 交涉。 新加坡 新加坡最近結束了RTA 與美國, 和是RTA 的一位主要提倡者在ASEAN 國家加上中國, 日本, 和南韓之間被提名以後二十年。它的活躍角色和興趣在地方協議上可能由景氣在貿易在亞洲國家之間, 和通入的中意對美國市場的解釋。新加坡並且是一個有吸引力的國家為RTAs 因為它有相當開放和透明經濟, 以好機會為投資在電信、電子商務、財務, 和其它服務- 由貿易早先保護barriers.[10 ] 新加坡我們協議的區段被宣佈了作為一個模型為使障礙降低到投資和加強知識產權。但是, 特別牽涉到被解除管制的投資的環境和經濟衝擊的一些NGOs 爭辯說, 協議代表首要我們的興趣在新加坡福利。問題依然是關於什麼影響執行將有在公共衛生的知識產權。[ 11 ] 中國 中國獲得了世界的注意由於它極大的市場為進口, 它的高增長率, 和它的新WTO 會員資格。ASEAN 國家從中國已經開始競爭為RTAs 在重建經濟穩定和更新由1997.[12 震動] 墨西哥東亞經濟危機, 並且其它拉丁美洲的國家專門研究了工業品, 感覺出口捏的成長希望當中國物品替換他們的在美國市場上。更低的薪水、高生產力, 和下落的運輸費用使中國競爭比墨西哥在出口玩具、鞋子, 和小電子。另一方面, 出口農業商品的國家如阿根廷和巴西受益於對大豆豆、牛肉、五穀, 和produce.[13 的不盡的中國人需求] 以回應連續地沮喪的努力打開美國農業市場, 這些國家也許轉動對中國選擇market.[14 ] 最近RTAs 為RTA 通知名單對WTO, 參觀: RTA 名單鏈接 RTAs 在Date 以前 關心和問題圍攏RTAs 有關心, 甚而那些支持協議最近擴散相信的RTAs 是殘缺不全的, 不公平, 或妨礙達到預期目的必須演講。RTA 活動的容量舒展交涉容量對他們的極限, 和在發展中國家情況下, 防止他們活躍地參加所有行動。WTO 有與聯合國和世界銀行的合作建立容量在更小的國家和給援助金錢支持參與在貿易談判。 另外, 有在協議形成在WTO 之外的恐懼, 是在他們的最大興趣的發展中國家沒有集體議價的力量談判RTAs (特殊雙邊協議) 。例如, 智利最近達成了與它決定降低關稅在農業產品和對投資解除管制的美國的一個協議, 但不能獲取任何讓步從美國關於農廠補貼。因為發展中國家經常取決於進展獲得在WTO 在敏感問題它重要, 多邊交涉保留一件最優先考慮的事。

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    1 decade ago





    4.經濟同盟( 除關稅同盟外,還實現金融、財政和對抗經濟循環之經濟政策的協調,縮小會員國政策差異。)、

    5.完全經濟整合( 會員國之經濟、金融、財政等政策完全統合,並設立超國家機構)

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