The pursuit of non-trade policy objectives in EU trade policy

Borchert, Ingo, Conconi, Paola, Di Ubaldo, Mattia and Herghelegiu, Cristina (2021) The pursuit of non-trade policy objectives in EU trade policy. World Trade Review. pp. 1-25. ISSN 1474-7456

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The European Union (EU) often conditions preferential access to its market on compliance with Non-Trade Policy Objectives (NTPOs), including human rights and labor and environmental standards. In this paper, we first systematically document the coverage of NTPOs across the main tools of EU trade policy: its (association and non-association) trade agreements and Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programs. We then discuss the extent to which the EU can use these tools as a ‘carrot-and-stick’ mechanism to promote NTPOs in trading partners. We argue that, within trade agreements, the EU has limited scope to extend or restrict tariff preferences to ‘reward good behavior’ or ‘punish bad behavior’ on NTPOs, partly because multilateral rules require members to eliminate tariffs on substantially all trade. By contrast, GSP preferences are granted on a unilateral basis, and can thus more easily be extended or limited, depending on compliance with NTPOs. Our analysis also suggests that the commercial interests of the EU inhibit the full pursuit of NTPOs in its trade agreements and GSP programs.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Economics
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 26 May 2021 07:05
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2022 12:53

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
RESPECT- Realizing Europe's Soft Power in External Cooperation and TradeG2321EUROPEAN UNION770680