The Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America – Peoples’ Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) is a counter-hegemonic regional inte- gration project which rejects neoliberal trade. It aspires to establish solidary, complementary and cooperative trade relations and to promote the productive integration between the member countries, inter alia through the creation of Grand National Enterprises (GNEs). Some inspirations for the regional trade and production agenda have been examined in detail, but the impact of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) and of the Collec- tive Self-Reliance (CSR) approach of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has not been researched systematically. On the basis of Qualitative Content Analysis (QCA), this article provides a comparison of ALBA-TCP documents on trade and productive integration with the corresponding counterparts of COMECON and NAM. The analysis demonstrates that ALBA-TCP does not represent a mere copy of either of the approaches, but has probably drawn inspi- ration from both.
With the negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the United States on a transatlantic trade agreement (TTIP), so-called ‘deep and comprehensive’ trade agreements have become the object of controversial public debate in recent years. However, TTIP is just one element in the broader EU trade regime established over the last decade. This issue focuses on the trade relations between the EU and countries in the Global South. The articles highlight specific aspects of the EU trade regime, ranging from its underlying strategy to the effects on food security in Sub-Saharan African countries, as well as alternative approaches to trade policy.
This article addresses some of the most pressing issues related to the surge of Mega-Regional Trade Agreements (MRTAs). All of these are initiated by the main trading powers (the US and the EU) which, by means of MRTAs, attempt to reclaim the status of normative leadership with the scope of setting de facto common global standards. The article contributes to current debates on the emergence of NGFTAs. It highlights the strategic move of the initiators in the US and the EU of bypassing the WTO and using their trading and normative power to induce others to accept the norms and rules of the transatlantic trading system (‘Acquis Transatlantic’). The analysis in this article gives insights into the strategy behind these MRTAs and the possible knock-on effects and consequences for the Global South. It focuses on the ques- tion of the implications for the developmental needs of these countries and how far the MRTA provisions contradict the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This contribution concludes with an outlook on the impact on the multilateral global trade system and how the WTO will prevail against the initiatives of regional economic hubs.
This paper places the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and ACP (African, Caribbean, Pacific Group of States) in the context of the international trade and food regime and the EU’s geopolitical strategies, exposing the neoliberal agenda behind these so-called Partnership Agreements. Following a brief illustration of the current state of the EPAs, the hypocrisy behind the development discourse surrounding them is exposed. After a necessarily limited introduction of a series of detrimental effects of the EPAs and the regimes in which they are embedded, the paper focuses on the negative effects of food import and agricultural export dependen- cies for the Global South. The paper concludes with some ideas on alternative ways to organise agricultural systems and the agricultural trade regime in order to ensure the human right to food and to allow policy space for food sovereignty.
The European Union (EU) successfully concluded negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Ecuador in 2014. This occurred despite the country’s long-standing opposition to FTAs and its withdrawal from earlier negotiations with the EU in the context of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN). This article argues that the renewed negotiations can be explained through the EU’s use of its trade power in a process of asymmetrical bargaining with the country following on from Ecuador’s loss of preferential access to the EU’s market under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP).