VoxEU:跨大西洋贸易和投资伙伴协定谈判任重道远
2014-06-26 16:19:16
VoxEU:跨大西洋贸易和投资伙伴协定谈判任重道远(2014.06.26)

  提要:跨大西洋贸易和投资伙伴协定(TTIP)谈判已进行了一年,进展缓慢。鉴于一系列重大争议性问题、大西洋两岸政局的变化以及权威理论支持的缺失,这项贸易谈判可能是需要花费若干年时间才能完成的长期项目。虽然TTIP对全球贸易具有重大影响,但如果得不到相关国家政府的鼎力支持,谈判可能会陷入僵局。

  (外脑精华·北京)《跨大西洋贸易和投资伙伴协定》(TTIP)如果顺利签订,将成为史上最富雄心的自由贸易协定。这一方面是由于其规模庞大,欧盟和美国的产出占全球产出总量的近45%。另一方面是由于该协定力图解决非关税贸易壁垒和监管问题。作为一个超大型区域贸易协定,TTIP可能将颠覆21世纪贸易规则。

  英国上议院近期公布了一份基于深入研究而撰写的TTIP分析报告,报告指出,虽然跨大西洋贸易自由化可能蕴含巨大利益,但谈判将是一个漫长而艰巨的过程,而且必须攻克许多难题。

  经济政策研究中心(CEPR)进行的一项研究表明,在最理想的情形之下,通过TTIP产生的价格下降和生产率提升效应,2027年普通的欧盟四口之家的可支配收入可望增加545欧元。然而,此类预测存在极大不确定性,尤其是鉴于TTIP最终协定在深度和广度上的不确定性。TTIP究竟会是全面消除非关税壁垒的一项综合性协定,还是充其量只是关于削减关税的一份“无足轻重”的协定呢?

  我们对跨行业的利益得失可能会有更深刻的认识。大西洋两岸的汽车业可能将从中获得巨大利益。这不足为奇,因为汽车业是该协定所涉行业中最规范的行业之一。就英国而言,化学和制药工业等其他行业可能也会从中受益匪浅。

  但是,即使我们认为TTIP将符合签约国家和消费者的整体利益,也将不可避免地出现利益受损群体。例如,一旦消除关税和非关税壁垒,地中海国家农业领域中受到严格保护的子行业可能将会萎缩。目前还不清楚相关政府当局如何考虑去减轻不利影响。

  不论是在何种情况下,政府当局都无法只靠数据赢得选民的欢心和信任。TTIP的潜在利益可能将四散,而成本将会集中。透明度的缺乏令TTIP进一步受到质疑。

  要想引导公众对TTIP议题的辩论,政府当局需要找出具说服力的论点和具体事例。目前,多数欧盟国家要么是对TTIP避而不谈,要么是集中争论氯化鸡等优选议题。欧盟各国公众目前似乎正在丧失对TTIP的辩论热情。

  沟通工作不能只留给欧盟委员会。欧盟各成员国政府应该加大同本国选民的沟通力度,而且需要各级政府部门参与其中,不能只是通过贸易和经济部长来同民众交流看法。

  TTIP谈判中的主要难题

  在TTIP谈判方面,存在一系列难题。这些难题体现在以下方面:

  一是法规和非关税壁垒方面:TTIP谈判的核心内容不是关税,而是统一法规和消除非关税贸易壁垒。一个典型的例子是汽车安全法规。没有任何证据表明欧盟或是美国境内汽车的安全性更低。但是,汽车厂商们目前必须遵守两套不同的法规。消除重叠性监管法规即便是不能自动催生新的贸易,也会推动生产成本和消费价格的下降。虽然汽车安全是一个常识问题,谈判面临着食品安全监管等许多争议性问题。

  二是农业方面。农业一直是一个充满争议的领域。例如,并非欧盟所有地理标志产品都会得到美国的认可。肉类产品出口是另一个棘手问题。

  三是政府采购方面:以公平和公开原则来获取政府合同应该是TTIP的一项重要内容。但从受国家法律约束可能更小的下级联邦政府获取政府采购合同尤为困难。近期欧盟和加拿大在《加拿大-欧盟全面经济贸易协议》谈判中取得了一些可喜的进展。

  四是《投资者-国家争端解决机制》方面。《投资者-国家争端解决机制》竟然成为欧洲辩论中一个最具争议性的议题。尤其是,德国政府和大部分德国民众对这一机制持敌对立场。这或许并不奇怪,《投资者-国家争端解决机制》也是公共辩论中一个被导入大量错误信息的问题。《投资者-国家争端解决机制》实际上只是一个执行机制。更显重要的是TTIP投资章节中还有外国投资者可以接受的保护性条款。但是,欧盟面临将《投资者-国家争端解决机制》议题从谈判内容中剔除的巨大压力。但是,鉴于欧盟在同低收入国家谈判贸易协定时,通常坚持纳入《投资者-国家争端解决机制》,在同美国进行谈判时,反对纳入《投资者-国家争端解决机制》可能是欧盟的虚伪之举。

  五是金融服务方面。鉴于金融业是英国的支柱产业,英国将金融服务议题作为谈判的重中之重。不过,美国政府当局强烈反对将金融服务业纳入TTIP,这一方面是由于美国在忙于落实《多德弗兰克华尔街改革与消费者保护法案》。

  TTIP成为21世纪国际贸易的标杆

  当今的国际贸易中“制造产品”的重要性日益提高,而“销售产品”的重要性下降。外包往返贸易的兴起和全球产业链已经彻底颠覆了国际贸易和外国直接投资的发展格局。需要通过治理和监管来这些趋势进行因势利导。

  鉴于欧盟和美国的巨大经济规模和影响力,TTIP可能将成为设定21世纪贸易规则一个论坛。TTIP应该是一个给未来新规则的讨论和落实开创一种永久对话机制的一项“充满生机的协议”。从这个意义上讲,TTIP不仅是促进跨大西洋两岸关系方面的一个经济项目,还是一个政治项目。

  鉴于新兴经济体崛起,TTIP可能是英国等欧盟成员国可以对制定高标准全球贸易规则产生重大影响的最后一个机会。谈判失败可能将会付出惨痛代价。

  美国目前还在展开《跨太平洋战略经济伙伴协定》(TPP)谈判,这项谈判共计包括12个国家(美国、加拿大、日本、澳大利亚、新西兰、新加坡、马来西亚、文莱、越南、智利、墨西哥和秘鲁)。鉴于涉及越南等低工资国家,TPP谈判的政治难度显得更高。劳工和环境标准问题可能将被提到议事日程。但是,在同欧盟开展TTIP谈判中这些因素的阻力更小。

  据说,开启TTIP和TPP谈判(尤其是TTP)的目的是遏制中国,或者至少是促使中国更积极地参与全球贸易计划。TTIP不应是一个封闭性协议,应该允许第三世界国家参与其中,并且对适合的议题进行讨论。

  政治不确定性的阻碍

  TTIP谈判涉及一个重大政治议程,而且即使是在最理想的氛围下,也将很难处理。鉴于大西洋两岸政局发生变化,其他的连带问题涉及多个方面。在欧盟,欧洲议会选举可能导致欧盟议会对国际贸易和投资的态度转冷。目前尚不清楚未来的欧盟委员会将在后续谈判中采取何种立场。

  在美国方面,于2014年11月继续的中期选举已使TTIP议程搁浅。美国政府尚未从国会获得贸易促进授权。在没有获得贸易促进授权情况下,美国政府无法设定重大谈判议题。如果在2014年晚期举行的美国中期选举之后同总统选举周期开始之前的这个狭窄的机会窗口中没有取得任何重大进展,那么TTIP在2017年、甚至2020年之前可能将无法成功达成。

  关于贸易协定存在因果效应的证据难以探寻。但是,我们急需权威性相关学术文献的问世。例如,经常有人指出贸易自由化将推动消费价格的下降。虽然可以根据这一结论轻易写出理论模型,在数据充分说明这一点的难度更大。价格走势可以受到数十个因素的左右,国际贸易只是其中的一个因素。

  此外,关于非关税壁垒的学术文献没有受到足够的重视。非关税壁垒的利弊通常比关税的利弊更难衡量,但是企业显然将非关税壁垒视为贸易实现自由化的最大障碍。

  最后一点是,贸易文献中对政治经济的某些方面的很少关注。例如,有时双方谈判代表的身份并不匹配。很多美方谈判代表属于对监管等具体问题拥有丰富专业知识的“技术官僚” (通常是律师 )。而欧盟国家代表可能是委托专家助手商谈具体问题的政府官员。因而,双方的谈判可能很难取得实质性进展。

  TTIP可能会令亿万消费者获益,但TTIP绝不仅仅是一个经济项目。其现行时间表显得雄心勃勃,并且在没有来自最高层政府的高度关注和鼎力支持情况下,这份时间表很难促使TTIP谈判迅速顺利完成。

  英文原文:TTIP – Is free trade coming to the north Atlantic?

Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick; CEPR Research Affiliate

The negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership are about a year old and making only slow progress. This column argues that TTIP is a long-run project that will probably take several years to complete. Despite its significance to global trade, without support from the top echelons of government it might falter.

If concluded successfully, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would be the most ambitious free trade agreement in history. This is partly due to its sheer scale, with the EU and the US representing about 45% of global output. It is also partly because of the attempt to tackle non-tariff barriers and regulation. As a mega-deal, TTIP could be a game changer for 21st-century trade (Hoekman 2014).

The UK House of Lords recently published a report on TTIP on the basis of an in-depth investigation (House of Lords 2014). While the potential benefits from liberalised transatlantic trade could be large, the road will be long and arduous, and many difficulties will have to be overcome. (Disclaimer: I was the Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords on TTIP. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the House of Lords.)

Winners and losers

A study produced by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR 2013) indicates that in the best-case TTIP scenario, the average EU household of four could see its disposable income rise by EUR 545 per year by 2027 as a result of lower prices and higher productivity. But the degree of uncertainty involved in such predictions is immense, not least because they depend on the extent of the agreement. Will there be a comprehensive agreement with full-fledged liberalisation of non-tariff barriers, or a 'light' agreement with not much more than a cut in tariffs?

We probably have a better sense of the cross-industry gains and losses. It is likely that the car industry stands to gain considerably from TTIP on both sides of the Atlantic. Not surprisingly, it is one of the best organised industries in relation to the agreement. In the case of the UK, other industries likely to gain include chemicals and the pharmaceutical industry.

But even if we believe that TTIP would be beneficial for countries and consumers as a whole, there will inevitably be losers. For example, highly protected sections of the Mediterranean agricultural industry might shrink once their tariff and non-tariff barriers are removed. It is unclear how governments envisage mitigating the adverse effects.

Losing the public debate

In any case, numbers alone will not win the hearts and minds of the electorate. The potential benefits of TTIP are likely diffuse, while costs will be concentrated. The lack of transparency creates further suspicion.

Governments have to come up with convincing narratives and concrete examples if they want to sway the public debate. At the moment, in most EU countries there is either no debate about TTIP, or it is centred around cherry-picked items such as chlorinated chicken. It seems that governments across the EU are currently losing the public debate.

Communication cannot be left to the EU Commission alone. Governments should engage more with their national electorates, and this engagement needs to happen at all levels of government, not only through trade and economics ministers.

Important sticking points

A number of difficult issues stand out. These include:

Regulation and non-tariff barriers: The meat of the TTIP negotiations is not about tariffs but rather about aligning regulation and removing non-tariff barriers. A classic example is car safety regulation. There is no evidence that cars are less safe in either the EU or the US. However, car manufacturers currently have to comply with two different sets of regulation. Removing duplicate regulation would bring down production costs and arguably consumer prices, even if this does not automatically generate new trade. While car safety is a common sense issue, negotiators face many controversial issues such as food safety regulation.

Agriculture: Agriculture is traditionally a contentious area. For example, not all geographical indications such as Parma ham and champagne will be recognised by the US. Meat exports are another difficult issue.

Government procurement: Fair and open access to government contracts is supposed to be an essential part of TTIP. But access is especially difficult to obtain at the sub-federal level where national governments might have less power to legislate. Some promising progress has recently been made by the EU on that front in the CETA agreement with Canada.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS): ISDS turns out to be a particularly contentious issue in the European debate. In particular, a hostile stance has been adopted by the German government and large parts of the German public. Perhaps not surprisingly, ISDS is also an issue where a great deal of misinformation is inserted into the public debate. At its core, ISDS is only an enforcement mechanism. What matters more are the substantive protections afforded to foreign investors in the TTIP investment chapter. Nevertheless, there is considerable pressure on the EU to drop ISDS from the negotiations. But given that the EU typically insists on ISDS mechanisms when negotiating trade agreements with lower-income countries, it would smack of hypocrisy to oppose them when negotiating with the US.

Financial services: Financial services are a priority for the UK given their weight in the British economy. However, the US Administration strongly resists the inclusion of financial services under the TTIP umbrella, partly because it is occupied with implementing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

Geostrategic considerations: Writing the rules of 21st-century trade

International trade in the modern world is increasingly about ‘making things’ and no longer as much about ‘selling things’ (Baldwin 2012). The rise of outsourcing, back-and-forth trade and global value chains has fundamentally transformed international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI). Governance and regulation is needed to facilitate these trends.

Given the enormous size and clout of the EU and US, TTIP might be a forum where 21st century trade rules are set. TTIP is supposed to be a 'living agreement' that creates a permanent dialogue for the future where new regulation is discussed and implemented. In that sense, TTIP is not only an economic but also a political project to promote transatlantic ties.

Given the rise of emerging economies, TTIP might be the last opportunity for individual EU member countries such as the UK to have a major impact on setting high-standard global trade rules. The price of failure may be high.

Parallel developments and the role of China

The US is currently also negotiating TPP – the Transpacific Partnership that includes 12 countries in total (US, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Chile, Mexico, Peru). TPP is seen as more difficult politically since it involves low-wage countries such as Vietnam. Issues of labour and environmental standards are likely to come up. But these play less of a role in the TTIP negotiations with the EU.

It has been suggested that TTIP and especially TPP are designed to contain China, or at least to encourage China to engage more actively in global trade initiatives. TTIP should not be a closed shop. Third countries should be allowed to participate, and appropriate arrangements need to be discussed (Winters 2014).

Political uncertainty

TTIP involves an enormous political agenda and would be difficult to handle even in the best of circumstances. Additional complications are manifold given the changing political landscape on both sides of the Atlantic. In the EU, the European elections are likely to give rise to an EU Parliament that is less friendly towards international trade and investment (Erixon 2014). It is unclear what stance the future EU Commission will take in the ongoing negotiations.

On the US side, the midterm elections in November 2014 have taken momentum away from the TTIP agenda. The US Administration is yet to secure Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress. Without TPA, the US Administration cannot make serious negotiating offers. If no major progress is made in the narrow window of opportunity after the US midterm elections in late 2014 and before the presidential election cycle kicks in, then we might not see a successful conclusion of TTIP until 2017 or even 2020.

How can the academic literature contribute?

Evidence on the causal effects of trade agreements is hard to produce. Nevertheless, there is strong demand for high-quality academic work. For instance, it is frequently claimed that trade liberalisation leads to lower consumer prices. While it is easy to write down theoretical models with this result, it is harder to convincingly show this in the data. Prices can move for dozens of reasons, and international trade is only one factor.

Furthermore, there is not enough focus in the academic literature on non-tariff barriers. These are typically much harder to measure than tariffs, but businesses clearly perceive them as the biggest impediment to free trade.

Finally, some aspects of political economy have received relatively little attention in the trade literature. For instance, sometimes there is a mismatch of negotiators from both sides. Many negotiators on the US side tend to be 'technocrats' - often lawyers - who have in-depth expertise on specific issues such as regulation. In contrast, their EU counterparts might be political appointees who delegate specific issues to expert aides. As a result, it can be hard to make substantive progress.

Conclusion

TTIP has the potential to benefit millions of consumers, but it is far more than an economic project. Its current timetable seems ambitious, and without considerable attention and support from the highest levels of government it will be hard to lead TTIP to a successful conclusion any time soon.

References

Baldwin, R (2012), "WTO 2.0: Global Governance of Supply-Chain Trade", CEPR Policy Insight No. 64, December 2012.

Centre for Economic Policy Research (2013), Reducing Transatlantic Barriers to Trade and Investment, Report, March 2013.

Erixon, F (2014), "Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the European Parliament", VoxEU.org, 18 May 2014.

Hoekman, B (2014), Supply Chains, Mega-Regionals and Multilateralism: A Road Map for the WTO, CEPR, London, 19 May 2014.

House of Lords (2014), The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, Report by the European Union Committee, 13 May 2014.

Winters, L A (2014), "The Problem with TTIP", VoxEU.org, 22 May 2014.

来源:VoxEU.org,2014.5.28,作者:Dennis Novy
作者:Dennis

京ICP证000069号

中经网数据有限公司 版权所有
本网站由中国网络通信有限公司(CNCnet)提供网络带宽
建议使用 800*600 分辨率浏览