What is the difference between the terms such as PTA, CECA, RTA, CEPA, Customs Union, Common Market and Economic Union? How are these related to FTAs?

What is the difference between the terms such as PTA, CECA, RTA, CEPA, Customs Union, Common Market and Economic Union? How are these related to FTAs?
What is the difference between the terms such as PTA, CECA, RTA, CEPA, Customs Union, Common Market and Economic Union? How are these related to FTAs?

Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA): In a PTA, two or more partners agree to reduce tariffs on agreed number of tariff lines. The list of products on which the partners agree to reduce duty is called positive list. India MERCOSUR PTA is such an example. However, in general PTAs do not cover substantially all trade.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA): 1 Officially called the “Decision on Differential and More Favourable Treatment, Reciprocity and Fuller Participation of Developing Countries”, and adopted under GATT in 1979. In FTAs, tariffs on items covering substantial bilateral trade are eliminated between the partner countries; however each maintains individual tariff structure for non-members. India Sri Lanka FTA is an example.

The key difference between an FTA and a PTA is that while in a PTA there is a positive list of products on which duty is to be reduced; in an FTA there is a negative list on which duty is not reduced or eliminated. Thus, compared to a PTA, FTAs are generally more ambitious in coverage of tariff lines (products) on which duty is to be reduced.

Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA): These terms describe agreements which consist of an integrated package on goods, services and investment along with other areas including IPR, competition etc.

The India Korea CEPA is one such example and it covers a broad range of other areas like trade facilitation and customs cooperation, investment, competition, IPR etc. Custom Union: In a Customs union, partner countries may decide to trade at zero duty among themselves, however they maintain common tariffs against rest of the world.

An example is Southern African Customs Union (SACU) amongst South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland. European Union is also an outstanding example. Common Market: Integration provided by a Common market is one step deeper than that by a Customs Union.

A common market is a Customs Union with provisions to facilitate free movements of labour and capital, harmonize technical standards across members etc.

European Common Market is an example. Economic Union: Economic Union is a Common Market extended through further harmonization of fiscal/monetary policies and shared executive, judicial & legislative institutions. European Union (EU) is an example.

What are Free Trade Agreements?

What are Free Trade Agreements?
What are 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.

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 the relationship between Multilateralism (WTO) and FTAs?

What is the relationship between Multilateralism (WTO) and FTAs?
What is the relationship between Multilateralism (WTO) and FTAs?

Article 1 of GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) which enunciates the most favoured nation (MFN) principle of WTO states that “any advantage, favour, privilege, or immunity granted by any contracting party to any product originating in or destined for any other country shall be accorded immediately and unconditionally to the like product originating in or destined for the territories of all other contracting parties.”

However, derogations from this MFN principle are permitted for forming FTAs under specific conditions as per the following provisions of the WTO Agreements: • Article V of GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) for services. The specific conditions under Article XXIV of the GATT permitting FTAs, are:

• FTA members shall not erect higher or more restrictive tariff or non-tariff barriers on trade with non-members than existed prior to the formation of the FTA.

• Elimination of tariffs and other trade restrictions be applied to “substantially all the trade between the constituent territories in products originating in such territories.”

• Elimination of duties and other trade restrictions on trade within the FTA to be accomplished “within a reasonable length of time,” meaning a period of no longer than 10 years.

Morever, the “Enabling Clause” allows developing countries to form preferential trading arrangements without adhering to the conditions under Article XXIV.

What is the role of the International Trade Commission in AD/CVD investigations?

What is the role of the International Trade Commission in AD/CVD investigations?
What is the role of the International Trade Commission in AD/CVD investigations?

The International Trade Commission determines whether the domestic industry is suffering material injury as a result of the imports of the dumped or subsidized products.

The International Trade Commission considers all relevant economic factors, including the domestic industry’s output, sales, market share, employment, and profits.

For further information on the International Trade Commission’s injury investigation. Both the International Trade Commission and Import Administration must make affirmative preliminary determinations for an investigation to go forward.

Trademark – A trademark (popularly known as brand name) in layman’s language is a visual symbol which may be a  word signature, name, device, label, numerals or  combination of colours used by one undertaking on goods or services or other articles of commerce to distinguish it from other similar goods or services originating from a different undertaking.

The legal requirements to register a trademark under the Act are:

  • The selected mark should be capable of being represented graphically (that is in the paper form).
  • It should be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others.
  • It should be used or proposed to be used mark in relation to goods or services for the purpose of indicating or so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services and some person have the right to use the mark with or without identity of that person.

How is Dumping or Subsidization remedied?

How is Dumping or Subsidization remedied?
How is Dumping or Subsidization remedied?

If a U.S. industry believes that it is being injured by unfair competition through dumping or subsidization of a foreign product, it may request the imposition of antidumping or countervailing duties by filing a petition with both Import Administration and the United States International Trade Commission.

Import Administration investigates foreign producers and governments to determine whether dumping or subsidization has occurred and calculates the amount of dumping or subsidies.

Foreign governments subsidize industries when they provide financial assistance to benefit the production, manufacture, or exportation of goods. Subsidies can take many forms, such as direct cash payments, credits against taxes, and loans at terms that do not reflect market conditions.

The statute and regulations establish standards for determining when an unfair subsidy has been conferred. The amount of subsidies the foreign producer receives from the government is the basis for the subsidy rate by which the subsidy is offset, or “countervailed,” through higher import duties.

What is Compliance?

What is Compliance?
What is Compliance?

Compliance: The United States is a party in over 250 trade agreements. But trade agreements are only paper unless foreign governments comply with their obligations.

MAC addresses compliance problems quickly and aggressively. Once a problem is identified, we organize a team to outline and implement a solution.

Trademark – A trademark (popularly known as brand name) in layman’s language is a visual symbol which may be a  word signature, name, device, label, numerals or  combination of colours used by one undertaking on goods or services or other articles of commerce to distinguish it from other similar goods or services originating from a different undertaking.

The legal requirements to register a trademark under the Act are:

  • The selected mark should be capable of being represented graphically (that is in the paper form).
  • It should be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others.
  • It should be used or proposed to be used mark in relation to goods or services for the purpose of indicating or so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services and some person have the right to use the mark with or without identity of that person.

What is Market Access?

What is Market Access?
What is Market Access?

Market Access: U.S. exporters sometimes encounter trade barriers. For instance, a country may only allow products to enter the most inconvenient port or a country may treat imported goods differently than domestic goods.

MAC receives calls from businesses, associations, and international U.S. commercial offices, and we then map out a plan to solve the problem.

Trademark – A trademark (popularly known as brand name) in layman’s language is a visual symbol which may be a  word signature, name, device, label, numerals or  combination of colours used by one undertaking on goods or services or other articles of commerce to distinguish it from other similar goods or services originating from a different undertaking.

The legal requirements to register a trademark under the Act are:

  • The selected mark should be capable of being represented graphically (that is in the paper form).
  • It should be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others.
  • It should be used or proposed to be used mark in relation to goods or services for the purpose of indicating or so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services and some person have the right to use the mark with or without identity of that person.

What is the difference between Market Access and Compliance?

Difference between Market Access and Compliance

What is the difference between Market Access and Compliance?
What is the difference between Market Access and Compliance?

Market Access: U.S. exporters sometimes encounter trade barriers. For instance, a country may only allow products to enter the most inconvenient port or a country may treat imported goods differently than domestic goods.

MAC receives calls from businesses, associations, and international U.S. commercial offices, and we then map out a plan to solve the problem.

Compliance: The United States is a party in over 250 trade agreements. But trade agreements are only paper unless foreign governments comply with their obligations.

MAC addresses compliance problems quickly and aggressively. Once a problem is identified, we organize a team to outline and implement a solution.

Trademark – A trademark (popularly known as brand name) in layman’s language is a visual symbol which may be a  word signature, name, device, label, numerals or  combination of colours used by one undertaking on goods or services or other articles of commerce to distinguish it from other similar goods or services originating from a different undertaking.

The legal requirements to register a trademark under the Act are:

  • The selected mark should be capable of being represented graphically (that is in the paper form).
  • It should be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others.
  • It should be used or proposed to be used mark in relation to goods or services for the purpose of indicating or so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services and some person have the right to use the mark with or without identity of that person.

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

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

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

  1. Tariff and customs barriers
  2. Service barriers
  3. Standards, testing, labeling, or certification barriers
  4. Rules of origin
  5. Government procurement contract barriers
  6. Intellectual property protection problems
  7. Excessive government requirements
  8. Excessive testing or licensing fees
  9. Bribery
  10. Investment

Trademark

A trademark (popularly known as brand name) in layman’s language is a visual symbol which may be a  word signature, name, device, label, numerals or  combination of colours used by one undertaking on goods or services or other articles of commerce to distinguish it from other similar goods or services originating from a different undertaking.

The legal requirements to register a trademark under the Act are:

  • The selected mark should be capable of being represented graphically (that is in the paper form).
  • It should be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others.
  • It should be used or proposed to be used mark in relation to goods or services for the purpose of indicating or so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services and some person have the right to use the mark with or without identity of that person.

How can I learn more about my product or service’s sales potential in overseas markets?

How can I learn more about my product or service’s sales potential in overseas markets?
How can I learn more about my product or service’s sales potential in overseas markets?

Market Research is a good first step to learn about the sales potential of your product or service in countries abroad. The U.S. Commercial Service offers free online market research to U.S. companies seeking to enter international markets. Its database allows you to sort by country, industry, and/or type of market report.

Visit the Commercial Service’s Market Research Library and register to access these reports.

some common trade problems MAC can help 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