How Long Do Trade Agreements Take

The World Trade Organization is responsible for regulating international trade between nations The UK is trying to replicate the effects of existing EU agreements in case they no longer apply to the UK. The UK has left the EU, but its trade relations remain unchanged until the end of the year. That`s because it`s in an 11-month transition – designed to give both sides some time to negotiate a new trade deal. Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, has repeatedly said that the negotiation and ratification process could take between five and seven years. Brussels insiders, especially business experts, say this is very optimistic. There is broad agreement among economists that trade liberalization is the best thing to do at the multilateral level. Facilitating multilateral negotiations is one of the main objectives of the World Trade Organization (WTO), as it was with its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). On the other hand, regional trade agreements (RTAs) can create some trade, but they also have the potential to negatively distract it. The Brexit process is raging, but we are still not clearer about a solution.

Assuming that happens in the end – given the complexity you have outlined in trade negotiations, how much do you think the UK is prepared to negotiate its own trade agreements as soon as it leaves the EU? If you experience trade problems during the transition period, please contact your local international trade advisor. No new trade agreement can begin until the transition is over. It is not easy to measure the length of the negotiations. We rely on the precise launch and conclusion dates of regional trade agreements, as determined by a full text search in LexisNexis (see Moser and Rose 2011 for more data details). Specifically, we define the duration of regional trade negotiations as the time elapsed from the day it was officially announced that negotiations on a trade agreement would begin later, until the day an agreement was finally reached – this kind of announcement is typically made by the main policy makers of the countries concerned. Our data sample includes 88 regional trade agreements from 1988 to 2009. On average, trade negotiations last 28 months, but the duration of negotiations varies widely. Then you pass the table with those with whom they negotiate, and it could take two or three years.

I don`t know if it`s often more. It depends on the diversity of the regimes, because they have to be brought together in one way or another. At the end of the day, you will have a ratification process. And you remember that in the case of Canada, it was very complicated because of the Belgian situation [the Walloon Parliament initially rejected CETA]. But if you take CETA, and they quote seven years, I would do it in two years of preparatory work, three years of real negotiations, the development of texts and things, according to the political page, the text page… and probably two years for ratification. The studies of Christoph Moser and Andrew Rose focus on the duration of negotiations on 88 regional trade agreements around the world. Even in this much larger trading set, the authors find on average about two years.

They find that negotiations between more countries and more distant countries are longer, while negotiations with richer and more open economies are shorter. It is one of the largest trade agreements in the world and covers 40% of the world economy, so it is not surprising that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has lasted longer than other U.S. free trade agreements. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is being negotiated between the US and the EU, would become the world`s largest trade agreement, with 45% of global GDP. The table „Signed Trade Agreements“ was updated with the most recent statistics from the Office for National Statistics while it was a member of the EU, and the UK was automatically part of some 40 EU trade agreements with more than