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Standards and regulatory cooperation in Regional Trade Agreements: What the effects on trade?

Santeramo, Fabio and Lamonaca, Emilia (2021): Standards and regulatory cooperation in Regional Trade Agreements: What the effects on trade?

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Abstract

The agenda of trade negotiation in the agri-food sector is characterised by an exponential increase of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures and of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs). Their joint effect on trade is puzzling and still an open empirical question. Once assessed the trade effect of standards provided in SPS measures, the study evaluates how regulatory cooperation and commitments beyond WTO requirements affect trade between signatories of RTAs. Trade between signatories seems obstructed by non discriminatory (multilateral) SPS measures. However, SPS-specific commitments negotiated in joint SPS committees within RTAs tend to create conditions to meet standards, contributing to boost trade.

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