PROLIFERATION OF PTAS AND EU TRADE POLICY:
A functionalist approach to Regulatory Cooperation design’s variation, lessons drawn from CETA
Following the failure of the WTO Doha round, a global liberalization offensive from European institutions is in full action. Among the tools deployed, the EU extends to regulatory issues the subjects covered by its Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs). Regulatory cooperation plays an increasing part in this European externalization strategy, while remaining difficult to properly identify and assess. This research aims at fulfilling this gap by providing a typology of different regulatory schemes used within trade agreements. While past research focused on legal design variation across trade agreements, this thesis adopts another approach. It concentrates its efforts on legal design variation intra-agreement, specifically variation between regulatory sectors in a single agreement. Recent addition to the European trade network, the EU and Canada presented the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) as the “gold standard” for the new generation of trade agreements. This thesis looks thus at this referential treaty and attempts to answer the following question: What are the different types of regulatory design within CETA, and how to explain types variation across regulatory sectors?
Referring to the literature on international Legalization and some of its recent evolutions (K. W. Abbott and Snidal 2000; K. W. Abbott et al. 2000), I propose two dimensions to build four different types of “regulatory design”: nature of obligation (Hard/Soft) and mode of decision (Ex-ante/Ex-post). Four design types are established to categorize the different regulatory schemes possible: Type 1 (Ex-Ante/Hard) setting immediate and binding regulations; Type 2 (Ex-Post/Hard) delaying rule-making but keeping binding obligation; Type 3 (Ex-Ante/Soft) providing a list of detailed but voluntary regulations; Type 4 (Ex-post/Soft) establishing a delayed and voluntary cooperation mechanism. Through reviewing CETA and selecting sectors where a “technical standards” cooperation scheme is established, I identify 7 regulatory sectors: Biotechnology (Biotech), Forest products (Forest), Geographical Indications (GIs), Motor Vehicles (MVs), Pharmaceutical products (Pharma), Professional Qualifications (PQ), Raw Materials (Raw). Two are identified within Type 1 (GIs & MVs), two in Type 2 (Pharma & PQ) and three in Type 4 (Biotech, Forest & Raw). Instances of Type 3 are absent from CETA.
To explain the negotiation process resulting in the choice of Design types, I mobilize a neo-functionalist theoretical framework (Niemann 2013; Rosamond 2005), putting forward the incremental and issue-by-issue style of technical discussion that happened during negotiation process. Borrowing from Lavenex (2014) typology of functionalist extension, I argue that experts in charge of the negotiation follow a mutual learning instrumental logic to regulate jointly a sector. They re-define each their potentially diverging preferences by deploying a “co-optive” form of power. This type of functionalist externalization acts as an intervening variable. It mediates the two dyadic factors in charge of explaining design features variation: symmetry/asymmetry of Trade flows, and convergence/divergence of pre-existing Regulatory Frameworks. Referring to previous trade economics contributions, Trade flow looks at the influence in trade policy of “Super-Star Exporters” and products differentiation (Osgood et al. 2016; Osgood 2017; Melitz 2003). This factor focusses on the type of trade patterns between the EU and Canada, between symmetry and asymmetry. If a sector is found to have asymmetrical trade flows, negotiators will use an Ex-ante design, which lists the exact products exported across the borders. If the flows are symmetrical, negotiating parties use an Ex-post design, adopting a more open approach to regulatory cooperation. Regulatory framework looks at the type of global value chains governance. It emphasizes the function of “orchestration” fulfilled by private and public regulations (K. W. Abbott and Snidal 2009, 2010; Gereffi, Humphrey, and Sturgeon 2005).
This thesis posits that when countries’ regulatory frameworks are divergent, prior to the negotiation, they privilege the use of Hard obligation. When the frameworks are convergent, they use Soft obligations. To explain the variation of design types, three hypotheses are formulated: Type 1 is caused by asymmetry and divergence, Type 2 by symmetry and divergence, and Type 4 by asymmetry but convergence. The three hypotheses are confirmed for 6 sectors on 7, Biotech being the sole exception defying theoretical expectations. For empirical testing, a qualitative multi-method approach was adopted, in accordance with G. Goertz (2017). Two methods of comparison were combined: across-case and within-case. The empirical analysis is thus divided in two parts, the first one compares the 7 sectors altogether, while the second uses process-tracing for each sector. In terms of data, different sources are harnessed: trade statistics from Eurostats, public/private regulatory documents and position papers. I also conducted 24 interviews with EU and Canadian actors.
Trade policy – Regulatory cooperation – legalization – CETA – neo-functionalism – Global Value Chains
7 Regulatory Sectors identified in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)Biotechnology (Biotech), Forest products (Forest), Geographical Indications (GIs), Motor Vehicles (MVs), Pharmaceutical products (Pharma), Professional Qualifications (PQ), Raw Materials (Raw)
- Mapping of the different regulatory mechanisms used in PTAs
- Explanation of the variation of these mechanisms across sectors
- Presentation of economic and politcal rationals behind the pursuit of regulatory cooperation
Within my research activities I am mainly interested in the political impact of technical features on economic activities either for finance (crypto-assets) or trade (regulatory cooperation)
Nov 2016 – August 2017 LUISS Guido Carli Rome, Italy
Sep 2017 – Jun 2018 Université Laval Québec, Canada
Sep 2018 – Feb 2018 Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) Rome, Italy
Mar 2019 – Present LUISS Guido Carli Rome, Italy
DEGREES AND TITLES
Master in International Relations, specialization Peace, Security and Conflicts
Double Master Degree :
Tongji University, Shanghai, China (09/2013 – 06/2014)
Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium (09/2012 – 07/2013)
Thesis Title : “Confucianism and Legalism in Chinese Official Slogans : From “Peaceful Rise” to “Chinese Dream””
Bachelor in Political Sciences
University of Geneva – Switzerland (09/2008 – 01/2012)
Exchange Semester : Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, Australia
September 2018 - February 2019
Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), Rome
- Conducted researches on Financial technologies, Digital Regulations and Crypto-assets.
- Authored a commentary for IAI series on EU digital regulations.
- Followed IAI project on the impact of Fintech for the Banking sector globally and in Italy.
February 2016 - June 2016
International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Geneva
- Conducted researches and authored 6 case studies on services standards.
- Authored and submitted to the Secretary-General a policy brief and a strategic action plan on standards and trade.
February 2015 - December 2015
Mission of Switzerland to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Geneva
- Participated to Trade negotiations for bilateral and multilateral processes (e.g. Environmental Goods Agreements, Trade in Services Agreement, EFTA bilaterals with Turkey, Government procurement Agreement, WTO COAG, WTO GATS, WTO MC10).
- Drafted analyses on countries’ trade policy (Trade Policy Reviews of India, Canada, New-Zealand, South-Africa Custom Union)
French: Native Language
English: C2 (112/120 in TOEFL IBT) (fluent)
German: C1 Goethe Zertifikat (fluent) (Munich 02/2012 – 07/2012)
Chinese: A2, intermediary level of Mandarin
Italian : intermediairy speaking skills
Global Regulations for a Digital Economy: Between new and old challenges, under review at Global Policy. With Guillaume Beaumier.
Ruling through Technology: Crypto-assets’ Contestation of Tech Giants, Working Paper. With Guillaume Beaumier.
“Investigating supranationalism in Preferential Trade Agreements rules-making”, in The supranational at stake? the EU’s external competences caught between complexity and fragmentation, eds. Mario Telo and Anne Weyembergh. Brussels : Routledge. forthcoming. 2019.
“Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)”, in Key Concepts in Research Methods, eds. Jean-Frederic Morin et al. Oxford University Press, forthcoming. With Claudius Wagemann. Forthcoming. 2019.
Digital Regulations and the Risk of a Securitized Internet”, IAI Commentaries, Istuto Affari Internazionali, December 2018.
“Cryptocurrencies: New Rules for a New Technology?”, Research Note, Universit ́e Laval, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in International Trade and Investment (CISITI), (Summer 2018), With Guillaume Beaumier.
Review of The logic of Chinese Politics: Cores, Peripheries and Peaceful Rising, by Sabrina Ching Yuen Luk and Peter W. Preston, Etudes internationales, 48 (3-4), (Autumn 2017): 551-553.
Roundtable ““Regulating The Digital Economy: an Impossible Challenge?”, ULB-IEE, Brussels, 6th September 2019
- Organization of a policy roundtable convening 23 multi-stakeholders, including members of the EC, onthe ability for public regulations to address technological challenges
Workshop “Economic Regulations in a Digital World”, Westin Harbour Hotel, Toronto, 25th - 26th March 2019
- Organization of an academic workshop convening 21 international scholars on the impact of digitaltechnologies for economic regulations.
Both events received fundings from the GEM-STONES programme, the Canadian Research Council (SSHRC), the Centre d’études pluridisciplinaires en commerce et investissement internationaux (CEPCI) and the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI)
49th UACES Conference, Panel: “Regulatory Cooperation Design in PTAs: a Sectoral Approach”, Lisbon, 1-4 September 2019.
AFEP-IIPPE Conference, Panel: ““Ruling through Technology: Crypto-assets’ Contestation of Tech Giants”, Lille, 3-5 July 2019.
60th International Studies Association (ISA) Convention, Panel: “Ruling through Technology: Crypto-assets’ Contestation of Tech Giants”, Toronto, 25th - 30th March 2019.
GEM-STONES/WIRE Workshop “Economic Regulations in a Digital World”, “Ruling through Technology: Crypto-assets’ Contestation of Tech Giants”, Toronto, 26th March 2019.
European Union in International Affairs (EUIA), Panel: Lobbying at the EU Level for or against regulatory cooperation: The horizontal, sectoral and societal triangle dilemma in EU Preferential Trade Agreements, Brussels, 16th - 18th May 2018.
59th International Studies Association (ISA) Convention, Flash Talk: Regulatory Cooperation in Preferential Trade Agreements: A Story about Lobby, Trade, and Standards, San-Francisco, 4th - 7th April 2018.
Summer school, World Trade Institute, “Political Economy of Globalization”, Bern, 7-11 august 2017