Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) in Asia-Pacific and European Union (EU) Phase II
Over the last decade, the number of active trade agreements has proliferated (> 400 by 2016). Governments regard these trade policy instruments as means of fostering regional trade integration and promoting regional value chains.
In reality, texts of trade agreements can represent thousands of pages, most part of which is tariff reduction schedules, or more informally, tariff cuts. These are programmed according to negotiated tariff dismantling categories, and differ from one product to another. This complexity makes it difficult for policymakers and researchers to correctly estimate the impact of a trade agreement as they don't know which tariff cuts are still being implemented in existing bilateral and regional trade agreements and which tariff cuts will be scheduled in the new or in the proposed trade agreement precisely. ITC has engaged to create a numerical database of tariff cuts in all active trade agreements in the world, including unilateral trade agreements such as GSP schemes. During Phase I of the project 240 agreements in Asia-Pacific region and Europe have been processed, which represents around 60% of global trade under preferences. The current Phase II of the project aims to expand this coverage and bring it closer to the target of covering all active trade agreements in the world.