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Unformatted text preview: 224 Steven Buchta 11 Steven Buchta is a Master of Arts candidate at the Norman Paterson School of Inter- national Affairs, Carleton University ([email protected]). T HE R EGULATION OF S OUTH- S OUTH RTA S : A N A NALYSIS OF AFTA AND COMESA Steven Buchta The recent rise in regional and bilateral preferential trade agreements (PTAs) highlights the need for further analysis of the “spaghetti bowl” of agreements and regulations that inte- grate global markets. This article gives specific attention to the regulation of South-South regional trade agreements (RTAs) and these agreements’ capacity to generate new flows of intra- regional trade. The author uses an interdisciplinary approach to examine both the legal frameworks and economic impacts of different South-South RTAs. Case studies of AFTA and COMESA offer insight into the inadequacies of the multilateral trading system’s current regulations, which promote trade in blocs of industrializing member-states. The article concludes with various recommendations to improve South-South RTAs’ ability to foster intra-regional trade and encourage liberal trade practices between emerging market economies. I NTRODUCTION Since the Doha Round of trade negotiations stalled, many states have neglected multilateral negotiations and refocused on regional and bilat- eral preferential trade agreements (PTAs) in order to further liberalize trade regimes beyond the World Trade Association (WTO) agreement. 225 The Regulation of South-South RTAs: An Analysis of AFTA and COMESA The current rise in regional and bilateral PTAs highlights the need for further analysis of the “spaghetti bowl” of agreements and regulations that integrate global markets. In particular, the ability of North-South trade relations to foster economic development and expand trade flows has been examined extensively. PTAs between developed countries are also being actively researched by academics, government officials and private firms. In contrast, growth in South-South PTAs has received much less attention. This article contends that South-South PTAs’ smaller contribu- tions to global trade flows should not diminish their significance in the progression of international trade liberalization. Increasingly, developing countries are liberalizing their economies in order to offer a larger and stronger market to foreign investors. Examining the progress of these regions’ trade arrangements can inform present liberal trade strategies related to emerging markets. To conduct this examination, the following question is proposed: How do trade regulations respond to the development of emerging markets in the global economy, and how does this response affect developing states in the international community? This article argues that trade regulations respond to the development of emerging markets by offering weak legal frameworks to South-South regional trade agreements (RTAs) that are not enforced or applied. This response has limited intra-regional trade not enforced or applied....
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course POLS 494 taught by Professor Garymoncrief during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.
- Fall '11