The hegemon’s outside option: mega-regional trade agreements and United States trade policy
The United States is facing growing challenges to the advancement of its interests in the World Trade Organization. The assertiveness of emerging countries in advancing their interests in the Doha Round made the achievement of a deal almost impossible. Slow progress is being made (the Trade Facilitation Agreement, for example), but no broad and significant trade deal has been reached so far. There are ongoing suggestions that the Doha round should be abandoned for good. The TPP and TTIP represented two shots the United States has taken to advance its trade interests outside the scope of the WTO, escaping possible challenges imposed by emerging countries. The irony behind this is that the trade regime in force was created by the United States at the height of its hegemony. The questions driving this paper are: Is this option for trade agreements related to American hegemonic decline? And to what extent does this option weaken the weaken the multilateral trade regime embodied in the WTO? There is a brief discussion about the future of this strategy under Trump’s presidency, who has a different stance regarding regional trade agreements.
Recebido em: maio/2018.
Aprovado em: janeiro/2019.
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