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Trade Agreements

Technical barriers to trade in south-south negotiations

Publication date: 
Oct 2014
José María Arbilla y Carlos Galperín
Three phenomena characterizing the current global trade presuppose a challenge for Argentina: a growing share of developing countries and of south-south trade, an increase in non-tariff barriers and an increasing number of regional trade agreements. Considering these three phenomena, this article states the importance of negotiating the technical barriers to the trade of manufactures in the south-south sphere and of setting the priorities that Argentina could promote as MERCOSUR’s position in possible trade agreement negotiations with developing countries. Through a survey of the measures adopted by developing countries and discussed at the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade Committee, the main barriers that could be faced by Argentine exports in the south-south trade were identified. An analysis of the evolution of the technical obstacles to trade disciplines makes it possible to identify the tools available and the challenges to construct a negotiating position. From the analysis, there come up some priorities for the trade negotiations in which MERCOSUR participates, such as to strengthen the link between technical regulations and the pertinent international standards, and to use the standards elaborated by standardization institutions in which developing countries participate as a reference.
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