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Technical standards liberalization in FTAs of the United States, the European Union and China

Abstract : States retain a high degree of autonomy to design technical standards according to their national objectives under the multilateral trade system. However, this autonomy is getting highly restrained in certain bilateral trade agreements. In this context, the article assesses the extent to which the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) eliminate or preserve national standardization space available under the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). It studies twenty-seven FTAs of three major economies with developing countries : nine FTAs of the United States, twelve FTAs of the European Union, and six Chinese FTAs. The article develops a new analytical framework that permits to analyse comparatively FTAs commitments on standard of the three economies, among each other and against the provisions of the WTO Agreement on TBT. While the FTAs of the United States and the European Union adopt uniform approaches and go systematically beyond the WTO Agreement on TBT in respect to standard liberalization, Chinese FTAs show varied patterns ranging from only affirming engagements under the WTO Agreement on TBT to including some commitments which go beyond it. While the national standardization space of the partner countries of the US and the EU shrinks to a historically low level, losing their autonomy in the design of technical standards, the Chinese approach tends to preserve the space available under the multilateral trade system.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02128183
Contributor : Catherine Ciesla <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 9:47:30 AM
Last modification on : Friday, November 6, 2020 - 4:21:57 AM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-02128183, version 1

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CREG | UGA

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Salam Alshareef. Technical standards liberalization in FTAs of the United States, the European Union and China. Journal of World Trade, Kluwer Law International, 2019, 53 (3), pp.433-453. ⟨halshs-02128183⟩

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