Trade Performance Review 2007: Chapter 5: The new EPA's: Implications for SADC

Year of publication: 
2007
Author(s): 
Chris Stevens, Overseas Development Institute
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As of 1 January 2008, the EU and the ACP group of countries had spent 10 years in discussions about and five years in formal negotiations on trade. Significantly, that day was also the date when the European Commission, probably for the first time since 1957, raised import tariffs across the board. Remarkably, those tariff increases were imposed on imports originating from a group of poor, uncompetitive countries; the very same countries with which most of the European heads of government had met in Lisbon less than a month earlier to launch a collaborative political strategy.

The contents of the EPAs are highly detailed and only recently have specifics emerged about what is actually contained in these agreements. Furthermore, all of the parties involved in the negotiations were very slow to move beyond generalities and, most importantly, the EC imposed a very rigid and almost unparalleled deadline on these trade negotiations.

This report describes the new, complex and diverse EPAs that have been negotiated and discusses, in particular, their implications for SADC.
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