Mega-Regional Trade Agreements and the Future of the WTO

Chad P. Bown (PIIE)

Part of Discussion Paper Series on Global and Regional Governance, Council on Foreign Relations

September 29, 2016

The major economies have shifted trade negotiating emphasis toward mega-regional agreements. In particular, the emergence of three sets of negotiations—the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agree-ment among Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, the United States, and seven other countries; the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the United States and the European Union (EU); and China's pursuit of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations—raises a host of short- and long-term questions for the multilateral trading sys-tem and the World Trade Organization (WTO).