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The CARIFORUM and Pacific ACP Economic Partnership Agreements

Challenges Ahead?

image of The CARIFORUM and Pacific ACP Economic Partnership Agreements
This report on the CARIFORUM and Pacific ACP Economic Partnership Agreements analyses the detailed implications for the economies of the countries involved of commitments signed or initialled, including an indication of the broad country and regionwide effects. The two agreements cover general provisions related to trade in goods and, in the case of CARIFORUM, an agreement on services as well as coverage on other traderelated issues.



The authors argue that, partly because they are so complex, the agreements are likely to have farreaching implications for all countries involved, but that there has been almost no informed discussion of the likely detailed effects of the agreements based on an analysis of their impact at an industry or sectoral level.



Understanding what these Economic Partnership Agreements mean is challenging, but necessary for both trade negotiators and the private sector. This publication therefore provides an initial analysis and could form the basis of more detailed work at the national level.

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Broad Findings

It cannot be emphasised too strongly that this report ‘lays the foundations’. It identifies the principal provisions of the CARIFORUM–EC EPA and the Pacific–EC IEPA, and it describes empirically the pattern of tariff changes agreed by each party, in order to identify the broad timetable and potential scale of the impact. But much countryspecific work remains to be done if the full development implications of the EPAs are to be identified and quantified. This is partly because the changes are so numerous that it is necessary to focus on individual countries to allow sufficient depth of analysis. It is also because some of the most substantial effects of the EPAs will arise from the clash of the agreed rules with country-specific practices. The small number of case studies that have been completed show very clearly that the disallowing by the EPA of certain policies currently implemented by ACP states may have as big (or a greater) development impact than the reductions of tariffs on imports from the EU. But, unlike the tariff reductions, these potential clashes between the EPA rules and ACP policies are not selfevident from a desk study such as this.

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