The CARIFORUM and Pacific ACP Economic Partnership Agreements

Challenges Ahead?

image of The CARIFORUM and Pacific ACP Economic Partnership Agreements
This report on the CARIFORUM and Pacific ACP Economic Partnership Agreements analyses the detailed implications for the economies of the countries involved of commitments signed or initialled, including an indication of the broad country and regionwide effects. The two agreements cover general provisions related to trade in goods and, in the case of CARIFORUM, an agreement on services as well as coverage on other traderelated issues.

The authors argue that, partly because they are so complex, the agreements are likely to have farreaching implications for all countries involved, but that there has been almost no informed discussion of the likely detailed effects of the agreements based on an analysis of their impact at an industry or sectoral level.

Understanding what these Economic Partnership Agreements mean is challenging, but necessary for both trade negotiators and the private sector. This publication therefore provides an initial analysis and could form the basis of more detailed work at the national level.



Executive Summary

This report identifies the broad features of the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) initialled by Fiji Islands and Papua New Guinea (PNG), and the full Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed formally by most of the states of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) on 15 October 2008. It provides a baseline analysis of highly complex documents which make many specific commitments. The tariff reduction schedules alone run into thousands of lines and are in some respects the most straightforward part of the agreements. Informed discussion of these agreements (a precondition of any buy-in) requires the sorting out of what has definitely been agreed, what may have been agreed (in the sense that there can be varying interpretations of the commitments) and what has certainly not been agreed.


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