The US and EU Free Trade Agreements with Peru and Colombia: A Comparison

28-02-2014

On 1 March and 1 August 2013 respectively, the EU’s trade agreements (TAs) with Peru and Colombia entered into force, one year after the US trade promotion agreement (TPA) with Colombia and four years after the US TPA with Peru. They are all second-generation free trade agreements, focused not only on removing tariffs on goods but also on liberalising services, public procurement and investment. While it is too early to verify the effects of these agreements, three years of statistics on bilateral Peru/US trade demonstrate a growing trend of trade in goods, even if it is impossible at this stage to establish a causality link with the US trade pact. With the exception of the US-Peru TPA, the future impact of the agreements can only be assessed by means of impact analysis reports which are between five and eight years old, and according to which the EU’s gains will be more significant than those of the USA. While these results are questionable because of the different methodologies used, a sector-by-sector analysis of the differences between the trade agreements concluded by the EU and by the USA will help in understanding how second-generation agreements are shaped by different trade policy options and negotiating techniques.

On 1 March and 1 August 2013 respectively, the EU’s trade agreements (TAs) with Peru and Colombia entered into force, one year after the US trade promotion agreement (TPA) with Colombia and four years after the US TPA with Peru. They are all second-generation free trade agreements, focused not only on removing tariffs on goods but also on liberalising services, public procurement and investment. While it is too early to verify the effects of these agreements, three years of statistics on bilateral Peru/US trade demonstrate a growing trend of trade in goods, even if it is impossible at this stage to establish a causality link with the US trade pact. With the exception of the US-Peru TPA, the future impact of the agreements can only be assessed by means of impact analysis reports which are between five and eight years old, and according to which the EU’s gains will be more significant than those of the USA. While these results are questionable because of the different methodologies used, a sector-by-sector analysis of the differences between the trade agreements concluded by the EU and by the USA will help in understanding how second-generation agreements are shaped by different trade policy options and negotiating techniques.