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The Economic Partnership Agreements: Rationale, Misperceptions and Non-trade Aspects

Louise Curran, Lars Nilsson and Douglas Brew

Development Policy Review, 2008, vol. 26, issue 5, 529-553

Abstract: The European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries entered a new era in 2008. The Cotonou trade regime and the WTO waiver legitimising it have expired, and the long anticipated, and much debated, move to Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) has begun. This article explains the background and analyses the 'alternatives' to EPAs, in order to tackle common misperceptions. Moving on from what has been the focus of debates, namely, the reciprocal liberalisation required under WTO rules, it sheds some light on the non-goods trade aspects of EPAs which, while integral to economic policy, are inherently hard to quantify and often skimmed over in existing studies or addressed in ideological terms. Copyright (c) The Authors 2008. Journal compilation (c) 2008 Overseas Development Institute..

Date: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:bla:devpol:v:26:y:2008:i:5:p:529-553