Debates on Regional Trade Agreements at the WTO


Delegates from the European Union, Japan, and Australia compared current and future regional trade agreements (RTAs) with the provisions set out in the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The aim of the exercise is to prove the reciprocal influence of bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade programs in this area.

The debate explored how far these members’ RTAs overlapped with the provisions of the TFA and how far they different from them. They also discussed the recent developments in trade facilitation provisions included in RTAs and asked how the TFA could become the basis for chapters on customs and trade facilitation in future RTAs.

The 2014 edition of the Trade and Integration Monitor includes a comparison of the provisions in the TFA and a select group of LAC regional agreements.

The next meeting of the Committee on RTAs has been tentatively scheduled for June 29 and 30, 2017.