Why are almost all the countries signing Free Trade Agreements?

 Why are almost all the countries signing Free Trade Agreements?
Why are almost all the countries signing Free Trade Agreements?

Countries negotiate Free trade Agreements for a number of reasons –

  • By eliminating tariffs and some non-tariff barriers FTA partners get easier market access into one another’s markets.
  • Exporters prefer FTAs to multilateral trade liberalization because they get preferential treatment over non-FTA member country competitors. For example in the case of ASEAN, ASEAN has an FTA with India but not with Canada. ASEAN’s custom duty on leather shoes is 20% but under the FTA with India it reduced duties to zero. Now assuming other costs being equal, an Indian exporter, because of this duty preference, will be more competitive than a Canadian exporter of shoes. Secondly, FTAs may also protect local exporters from losing out to foreign companies that might receive preferential treatment under other FTAs.
  • Possibility of increased foreign investment from outside the FTA. Consider 2 countries A and B having an FTA. Country A has high tariff and large domestic market. The firms based in country C may decide to invest in country A to cater to A’s domestic market. However, once A and B sign an FTA and B offers better business environment, C may decide to locate its plant in B to supply its products to A.
  • Such occurrences are not limited to tariffs alone but it is also true in the case of non-tariff measures. Especially when a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) is reached between countries A and B. Some experts are of the view that slow progress in multilateral negotiations due to complexities arising from large number of countries to reach a consensus on polarising issues, may have provided the impetus for FTAs.

How is CECA/CEPA different from FTA?

How is CECA/CEPA different from FTA?
How is CECA/CEPA different from FTA?

A Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) or a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is different from a traditional Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on two counts.

Firstly, CECA/CEPA are more comprehensive and ambitious that an FTA in terms of coverage of areas and the type of commitments. While a traditional FTA focuses mainly on goods; a CECA/CEPA is more ambitious in terms of a holistic coverage of many areas like services, investment, competition, government procurement, disputes etc. Secondly, CECA/CEPA looks deeper at the regulatory aspects of trade than an FTA.

It is on account of this that it encompasses mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) that covers the regulatory regimes of the partners. An MRA recognises different regulatory regimes of partners on the presumption that they achieve the same end objectives.

 

What are FTA?

 What are FTA?
What are FTA?

FTA stands for Free Trade Agreements. FTAs are arrangements between two or more countries or trading blocs that primarily agree to reduce or eliminate customs tariff and non tariff barriers on substantial trade between them. FTAs, normally cover trade in goods (such as agricultural or industrial products) or trade in services (such as banking, construction, trading etc.).

FTAs can also cover other areas such as intellectual property rights (IPRs), investment, government procurement and competition policy, etc.

Patent – A patent in an exclusive right granted by a country to the owner of an invention to make, use, manufacture and market the invention, provided the invention satisfies certain conditions stipulated in the law. Exclusivity of right implies that no one else can make, use, manufacture or market the invention without the consent of the patent holder. This right is available only for a limited period of time.

However, the use or exploitation of a patent may be affected by other laws of the country which has awarded the patent. These laws may relate to health, safety, food, security etc. Further, existing patents in similar area may also come in the way. A patent in the law is a property right and hence, can be gifted, inherited, assigned, sold or licensed.

As the right is conferred by the State, it can be revoked by the State under very special circumstances even if the patent has been sold or licensed or manufactured or marketed in the meantime. The patent right is territorial in nature and inventors/their assignees will have to file separate patent applications in countries of their interest, along with necessary fees, for obtaining patents in those countries.

How can I learn more about filing a petition in international trade?

How can I learn more about filing a petition in international trade?
How can I learn more about filing a petition in international trade?

Antidumping and countervailing duty trade remedies have been successfully pursued by a variety of domestic industries, including producers of steel, industrial equipment, computer chips, agricultural products, textiles, chemicals, and consumer products.

Both the Import Administration and the International Trade Commission have staff available to assist domestic industries in deciding whether there is sufficient evidence to file a petition for antidumping or countervailing duty investigations. The staff may also assist eligible small businesses with the filing process. Contact the Import Administration, Petition Counseling and Analysis Unit at (202) 482-1255.

International Trade Law includes the appropriate rules and customs for handling trade between countries. However, it is also used in legal writings as trade between private sectors, which is not right.

This branch of law is now an independent field of study as most governments has become part of the world trade, as members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Since the transaction between private sectors of different countries is an important part of the WTO activities, this latter branch of law is now a very important part of the academic works and is under study in many universities across the world.

What are some common trade problems MAC can help in U.S. businesses overcome?

What are some common trade problems MAC can help in U.S. businesses overcome?
What are some common trade problems MAC can help in U.S. businesses overcome?

MAC provides help with the following common trade problems through the Trade Compliance Center:

  • Tariff and customs barriers
  • Service barriers
  • Standards, testing, labeling, or certification barriers
  • Rules of origin
  • Government procurement contract barriers
  • Intellectual property protection problems
  • Excessive government requirements
  • Excessive testing or licensing fees
  • Bribery
  • Investment

MAC’s services are free of charge to all U.S. businesses.

International Trade Law includes the appropriate rules and customs for handling trade between countries. However, it is also used in legal writings as trade between private sectors, which is not right.

This branch of law is now an independent field of study as most governments has become part of the world trade, as members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Since the transaction between private sectors of different countries is an important part of the WTO activities, this latter branch of law is now a very important part of the academic works and is under study in many universities across the world.

How can I locate importers, distributors, sales reps, etc. in an overseas market?

How can I locate importers, distributors, sales reps, etc. in an overseas market?
How can I locate importers, distributors, sales reps, etc. in an overseas market?

The U.S. Commercial Service has programs and services to help you locate potential business partners overseas. Contact your nearest U.S. Export Assistance Center and speak with an International Trade Specialist.

You can also receive free export counseling and learn more about our programs and services to help you compete around the globe. Call 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) or visit Export.gov to find your local Export Assistance Center.

International Trade Law includes the appropriate rules and customs for handling trade between countries. However, it is also used in legal writings as trade between private sectors, which is not right.

This branch of law is now an independent field of study as most governments has become part of the world trade, as members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Since the transaction between private sectors of different countries is an important part of the WTO activities, this latter branch of law is now a very important part of the academic works and is under study in many universities across the world.

What can Market Access and Compliance (MAC) do to help your business?

What can Market Access and Compliance (MAC) do to help your business?
What can Market Access and Compliance (MAC) do to help your business?

After you contact our Trade Compliance Center or the country desk in one of our regional offices, MAC will evaluate whether the problem is a market access issue or a compliance problem with an existing trade agreement.

MAC will establish a team of experts on the country, the industry, the trade agreement, and other needed areas. The team will review all possible options to resolve the problem and then work through each tactic toward a solution.

International Trade Law includes the appropriate rules and customs for handling trade between countries. However, it is also used in legal writings as trade between private sectors, which is not right.

This branch of law is now an independent field of study as most governments has become part of the world trade, as members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Since the transaction between private sectors of different countries is an important part of the WTO activities, this latter branch of law is now a very important part of the academic works and is under study in many universities across the world.

What is Intellectual property rights in trade related aspects of intellectual property rights?

What is Intellectual property rights in trade related aspects of intellectual property rights?
What is Intellectual property rights in trade related aspects of intellectual property rights?

Minimum level of intellectual property rights which must be provided by all member states

– Reduction of distortion and impediments to international trade

– Effective and adequate protection of IPRs

– Ensure that measures and procedures of enforcing IPRs do not themselves become barriers to legitimate trade

– Promotion of technological innovation

– Transfer and dissemination of technology ƒ

TRIPS enacted despite dissatisfaction of India and other developing countries ƒ

TRIPS part of a larger package of economic agreements which were beneficial to India ƒ

India still in the wake of the Neem Tree incident

Patents ƒ

Article 27 – Patents for products and processes ƒ

Exceptions to unlimited patent rights

– Public order and morality

– Plants and animals and essential biological processes

– Limited exceptions to exclusive rights (compulsory licensing) ƒ India’s compliance with TRIPS

– Patent Amendment Act 2002:

Compulsory licensing

– Patent Amendment Act 2005: Mailbox applications to Product patents Geographical Indications ƒ

Article 22 of TRIPS – “indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin. ƒ

Geographical Indications Act 2003 – E.g. Basmati Rice, Darjeeling Tea, Kanchipuram Silk Saree, Alphanso Mango, Nagpur Organge, Kolhapuri Chappal, Bikaneri Bhujia, Agra Petha

 

What is general agreement on trade in services?

What is general agreement on trade in services?
What is general agreement on trade in services?
  • Enhanced “trade-ability” of services ƒ
  • A landmark achievement of the Uruguay Round (1995) ƒ
  • Aim: To establish a multilateral framework to promote orderly and transparent trade and investment liberalization in services ƒ
  • Comprehensive legal framework of rules and disciplines covering 12 classified sectors with 160 sub-sectors ƒ The GATS defines services trade as occurring via four modes of supply –

Mode 1: Cross border delivery

Mode 2: Consumption abroad

Mode 3: Commercial presence

Mode 4: Movement of natural persons ƒ

Obligations under GATS: –

  • General obligations (MFN, Transparency)
  • Specific commitments (Market Access, National Treatment) ƒ

Voluntary and flexible commitment structure:

– Flexibility in choosing sectors to table for negotiations and in type of commitments made

– No compulsion to open up a sector or a particular mode of supply

– Attempt to balance between commercial interests and public policy concerns

– Flexibility to developing countries

I’m shipping my product to Canada. How do I fill out a NAFTA Certificate of Origin? Are there other documents to be filled out?

I’m shipping my product to Canada. How do I fill out a NAFTA Certificate of Origin? Are there other documents to be filled out?
I’m shipping my product to Canada. How do I fill out a NAFTA Certificate of Origin? Are there other documents to be filled out?

Your shipment may need a NAFTA Certificate of Origin and a Shipper’s Export Declaration. To learn more about export documentation, please visit Export.gov to learn more.

The U.S. Commercial Service’s Trade Information Center or the trade specialists at your local Export Assistance Center can also help answer these questions. Call 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) or find your local Export Assistance Center.

International Trade Law includes the appropriate rules and customs for handling trade between countries. However, it is also used in legal writings as trade between private sectors, which is not right.

This branch of law is now an independent field of study as most governments has become part of the world trade, as members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Since the transaction between private sectors of different countries is an important part of the WTO activities, this latter branch of law is now a very important part of the academic works and is under study in many universities across the world.