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New mega-trade deals: What implications for Africa?

Briefing Note 73

November 2014

Ramdoo, I. 2014. New mega-trade deals: What implications for Africa? (Briefing Note 73). Maastricht: ECDPM.

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Key messages: 

  • The stalemate at the WTO over the last two decades has been accompanied by a proliferation of bilateral and regional trade agreements, and more recently mega trade agreements, such as TTIP, TTP, RCEP and FTAAP.
  • Mega trade deals will have an impact on trade flows, on the direction and intensity of investment, on the structure of regional and global value
  • chains, and will redefine the ‘rules of the game’.
  • Mega-trade deals are expected to be about WTO-plus issues and WTO-extra issues. For Africa, mega trade deals will likely(i) lead to an erosion of the margin of preferences they enjoy to big markets; (ii) further entrench the position of Africa as rule/standard taker.
  • African policy makers need to think ‘outside the box’ to forge strategic responses and alliances to avoid marginalisation and being rule-takers.

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Economic Transformation and TradeTrade Policy and Economic Partnership AgreementsBriefing Notes (series)TradeAfrica