WTO Compatibility and Rules of Origin – Assessing Bilateral Trade Agreements between Latin America and East Asia

Howard Loewen


Some theorists and practitioners argue that the stability of the global trade system is endangered by trade distorting effects of regional Free Trade Agreements. Does this also hold true for interregional FTAs? Based on criteria, such as scope, rules of origin and WTO notification, it is argued here that interregional FTAs between East Asia and Latin America do not fully confirm the distortion thesis, as the positive effects of WTO-plus elements in the examined FTAs and their positive notification record to the WTO signify. Yet, overlaps between different rules of origin may lessen the multilateral effectiveness of interregional FTAs.

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