As free trade reaches a crossroads in the US, developing countries have to rethink their own trade realities for their own development interests. “Free trade” seems to be in deep trouble in the United States, with serious implications for the rest of the world. Opposition to free trade or trade agreements emerged as a big theme among the leading American presidential candidates. (more…)
Intellectual Property in the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Increasing the Barriers for the Access to Affordable Medicines
Most free trade agreements signed by the United States, the European Union and the members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in the last 15 years contain chapters on intellectual property rights with provisions applicable to pharmaceuticals. Such provisions considerably expand the rights recognized to pharmaceutical companies under the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) established in the context of the World Trade Organization. (more…)
Patent Protection for Plants: Legal Options for Developing Countries
The paper examines, first, the exclusion of patent protection for plants, including plant varieties, biological materials, and essentially biological processes for the production of plants. The legal implications of the right – recognized under the TRIPS Agreement – to exclude plants from patent protection are briefly discussed, as well as how the exclusion allowed by article 27.3(b) of said Agreement has been implemented at the national level and, particularly, whether it can be extended to parts and components of plants. (more…)
Of all the issues currently being negotiated on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, none are more important than the ability of patients to get life-saving medicines at affordable prices, which many fear may be a victim of the agreement. (more…)
The investor-state dispute system, whereby foreign investors can sue the government in an international tribunal, is one of the issues being negotiated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and other free trade agreements. In the recent public debate surrounding the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), an issue that seems to stand out is the investor-state dispute settlement system (ISDS). It enables foreign investors of TPPA countries to directly sue the host government in an international tribunal. (more…)
Ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreement: The Case of Cameroon
This Note looks at the Costs and Benefits of an EPA for Cameroon if it would ratify the interim-EPA.
The main benefit of the EPA would be the avoidance of duties that EU importers would have to pay. If Cameroon would fall back to EU GSP, these duties would amount to USD 42.5 million / year (top-30 exports under EU GSP). In the case of the GSP+, only two key products will face tariffs: bananas and malt extract/food preparation with low cocoa contents. (more…)
The EU-CARIFORUM EPA: Regulatory and Policy Changes and Lessons for Other ACP Countries
This note assesses the state of play of EPA implementation in the CARIFORUM region. It shows that the regulatory, legislative and policy changes necessary for EPA implementation in the areas of trade in goods and services are at varying stages of implementation among member states, with many countries being very far from fully implementing the agreement. (more…)
EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements: Current State of Play.
This note provides an overview of the EPA negotiations. It illustrates the fact that the same critical contentious issues persist in the EPAs across various regional blocs. It also highlights the concerns of the highest political authorities of ACP States regarding the EPAs and the inherent dangers for (more…)
The EPAs and Risks for Africa: Local Production and Regional Trade.
One of the main contentious issues in the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and African countries is the level of trade liberalization which Europe is asking for. This issue is certainly one of the most critical for Africa. (more…)
Economic Partnership Agreements in Africa: A Benefit-Cost Analysis.
This study provides a simple cost-benefit analysis of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between African countries and the European Union. It compares the costs of signing an EPA – measured as tariff revenue losses, versus the “gains” of signing an EPA – measured as (more…)
Trade trends are changing quite rapidly for Africa. A careful analysis of Africa’s export statistics reveals startling facts regarding the markets that are most important for Africa today, and in the years to come. (more…)
EPAs and WTO Compatibility – A Development Perspective.
The discussion on WTO compatibility in the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and ACP countries has so far been very narrowly defined, and largely from the perspective of the European Union. (more…)