East Asian Free Trade Agreements in Services: Key Architectural Elements
Posted: 4 Jul 2008
Date Written: June 2008
Since the mid-1990s East Asian countries have negotiated 25 free trade agreements (FTAs) with a services component. There are important architectural differences in these agreements, which ultimately affect their value in promoting transparency, fostering the credibility of trade policies, and advancing market opening in services. This article reviews key architectural choices, focusing on the approach towards scheduling commitments, the treatment of investment and the movement of natural persons, rules of origin, provisions for the settlement of trade dispute, and selected deeper integration issues. In doing so, it assesses the advantages and drawbacks of different architectural approaches and discusses a number of lessons learned.
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