1604 Working Group News on Trade – April 2016

  1.     The Consequences of TTIP


As more is revealed about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), it is clear that it has little to do with improving trade. Corporations will have the power to force governments to put corporate interests above the needs of their own citizens. It’s not just Europeans who will feel the consequences of TTIP. A German study highlights even bigger losses for developing countries, with many in Africa losing more than 4 per cent from per capita income levels.   


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       2.     European Union Trade Deal is bad for Kenya, Warns UN Report


The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has warned that the EPA entered in October 2014 with the East African countries might adversely affect Kenyan industries through increased competition from the EU. Kenya, unlike the other regional economies, is not ranked among the least development countries and its exports could therefore not qualify for preferential treatment in developed markets. What is of concern is how any new arrangement will guarantee market access in a sustainable and progressive manner.         


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       3.       Outlook for the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement


In 2014, the EU concluded negotiations with the South African Development Community (SADC) to form a new EPA. Such a free trade arrangement should end any discriminatory preferential trade agreements in the area, as well as strengthen trade and development in southern Africa. However, a new discussion paper from IFPRI’s Markets, Trade and Institutions Division finds that new trade stemming from the EPA will not be very extensive, and that any poverty reduction effects will also likely be quite small.


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     4.       Thirteen (13) out of the 15-Member States Have Appended their Signatures to the EPAs


By February 2016, West Africa’s economic powerhouse, Nigeria, and two other countries namely, The Gambia and Mauritania have all refused to sign the agreement, close to two years after the negotiations have been concluded. Mauritania is no longer part of ECOWAS but it was added to the sub-region for the purposes of the agreements, but the refusal of the three countries to sign onto the EPAs has made it impossible for the implementation to begin since the agreements require the signatures of all countries of the region.    


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