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This chapter takes stock of the dense network of trade agreements in services that has evolved in the East Asian region, and considers some of its prospects in the wake of the withdrawal of the United States from the TPP negotiations. Perhaps surprising for a region associated with booming economies, trade agreements in Asia have not always been driven by economic considerations. At the same time, it remains unclear if services trade has been as much a factor in trade agreement formation as in other regions. Based on DESTA data, the chapter shows that services trade (at least in its cross-border and consumption abroad modes) and PTA formation go hand-in-hand in Asia as well, even though the panoply of agreements remains divided by two different and possibly incompatible approaches, as some countries prefer positive lists and others prefer negative lists. With the United States choosing to withdraw from regional PTA projects for the time being, the positive-list approach looks to be the most common in the near future, while liberalization prospects may be limited.
In this paper, we investigate the causes and consequences of institutional design choices in the liberalization of services trade and investment in preferential trade agreements (PTAs). We distinguish between a positive-list and a negative-list approach to services liberalization, and analyze PTAs signed by countries of the Asia-Pacific. We develop an information-based argument that explains why these different types induce path dependence in subsequent choices, and derive hypotheses that capture the “history” effect of choosing either institutional model. In doing so, we examine whether particular “modes of governance” diffuse through the growing network of trade agreements through the adoption of rules by third parties in their own PTAs. The empirical analysis tests these hypotheses using simulation-based dynamic network analysis methods. We find evidence of strong path dependence in the choice of liberalization approach, affecting the evolution of PTA networks in the Asia-Pacific and the diffusion of services liberalization in general. Such path dependence has long-term consequences for the institutional features of the international trade regime.
The formation of a local joint professional network (LJPN) in Northamptonshire has led to a joint Continuing professional development initiative and an audit project to determine the take up of annual health checks by patients with diabetes mellitus with dentists, optometrists, pharmacists as well as the usual check with the General Medical Practice team. The findings showed that a significant number of patients (29–50%) do not access available dental, optometry and pharmacy advice. Better collaboration between the professions has the potential to improve health outcomes in diabetes mellitus and other areas where lifestyle modification reduces adverse health risks. A patient advice card (SWEETWISE) was developed by the group and could be used to help educate patients and health professionals.
Are preferential trade agreements (PTAs) in the Asia-Pacific region merely a political phenomenon with no economic basis, as some critics say? I challenge this interpretation; in this article I present an explanatory model based on intra-industry trade to indicate what economic interests should drive Japanese and South Korean PTAs with ASEAN partners, and derive specific predictions. An analysis of the actual tariff barrier elimination in the agreements suggests important, but highly specific, economic benefits. First, preference margins are substantively greater for intra-industry trade, and second, intra-industry trade is much less likely to be excluded from tariff reductions when imported into Japan or South Korea. This indicates that PTAs help firms specialize their production throughout the region, and provides an economic rationale for these agreements. A qualitative case study of the Japan-Malaysia PTA and a statistical analysis of tariff liberalization in the PTAs of Japan and South Korea with the ASEAN countries support this view.
The main objective of the present study was to examine the association between dietary Fe intake and dietary predictors of Fe status and Hb concentration among lactating women in Bhaktapur, Nepal. We included 500 randomly selected lactating women in a cross-sectional survey. Dietary information was obtained through three interactive 24 h recall interviews including personal recipes. Concentrations of Hb and plasma ferritin and soluble transferrin receptors were measured. The daily median Fe intake from food was 17·5 mg, and 70 % of the women were found to be at the risk of inadequate dietary Fe intake. Approximately 90 % of the women had taken Fe supplements in pregnancy. The prevalence of anaemia was 20 % (Hb levels < 123 g/l) and that of Fe deficiency was 5 % (plasma ferritin levels < 15 μg/l). In multiple regression analyses, there was a weak positive association between dietary Fe intake and body Fe (β 0·03, 95 % CI 0·014, 0·045). Among the women with children aged < 6 months, but not those with older infants, intake of Fe supplements in pregnancy for at least 6 months was positively associated with body Fe (P for interaction < 0·01). Due to a relatively high dietary intake of non-haem Fe combined with low bioavailability, a high proportion of the women in the present study were at the risk of inadequate intake of Fe. The low prevalence of anaemia and Fe deficiency may be explained by the majority of the women consuming Fe supplements in pregnancy.
During the last two decades, the number of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) grew almost exponentially to over 270 by 2010. A majority of these are agreements between developed and developing countries. Existing models provide little economic rationale for these agreements, but the existing literature lumps North-South PTAs together with other types of trade pacts. This article offers an explanation focused on the movement of less capital-intensive manufacturing from North to South, which in turn stimulates the exchange of similar goods differentiated by unit value—also referred to as vertical intra-industry trade. The North exports more capitalintensive goods, while more labor-intensive goods are produced and traded by the South. This kind of specialization creates incentives for governments to support PTAs. The author tests this model using a new measure of vertical trade specialization and finds strong evidence that such specialization promotes PTA formation. North-South PTAs should therefore be seen as part of a broader shift of manufacturing from high- to middle-income countries.
The division of Sudan into two countries on 9 July 2011 following the self-determination referendum of 9 January represents a rare development in Africa. Few examples exist of new state formations in the continent after the end of the colonial period. Answering the call of the IJMES editor to reflect on what this event will mean for our understanding of Sudan might take us in several directions. Let me use this opportunity to comment on two themes that have concerned me lately: the role of the state and the possibility that multiple national identities will evolve in North and South Sudan.
The current chapter examines allometric exponents as they apply to the evolution of the size, or mass, of the modern human brain relative to the mass of the body. The mass of the brain is considered as a single level of organisation of the nervous system and is treated separately to other levels of organisation. A comprehensive dataset is used to examine the relationship between brain and body mass in primates and hominids. This analysis allows us to postulate that the evolution of the size of the human brain can, for the most part, be accounted for by scaling with body size. There appears to be a minimum of two potential adaptive events that have led to alterations in the scaling laws that help explain the actual mass of the human brain. These two events occur at the origin of primates and the origin of the hominid lineage. These scaling laws appear to obviate much of the need for adaptationist explanations in terms of the evolution of the mass of the human brain.
Mexico attracted investment across a range of business activities, much of it drawn to a huge pool of low-cost labor in the proximity of the US market. As the previous three chapters have shown, not only US firms but also their competitors from non-NAFTA countries invested massively in Mexico. The competitive disadvantages created by NAFTA affected a broad coalition of firms in Europe and Japan, creating a powerful constituency in favor of defensive agreements. But was Mexico an outlier, given its high MFN barriers and proximity to the United States? Do smaller markets also trigger a competitive dynamic?
This chapter offers evidence that Mexico was by no means exceptional. Within few years it became evident that NAFTA was only the first in a wave of PTAs between developed and developing countries. Once policymakers recognized this fact, they became increasingly concerned about the competitive effects of PTAs. The previous chapters have argued that bureaucrats in the EU and Japan explicitly considered these effects as relayed to them by firms and lobbyists. This chapter shows that when competitors began pursuing PTAs with developing countries, US policymakers in turn reconsidered bilateral options. Even though the investment interests were limited to services industries in a small country, and despite a number of political obstacles that had prevented Chile's accession to NAFTA itself, the competition over access to invest in services in Chile generated business support for an FTA in both the United States and the EU.
In the services sector, imperfectly competitive market structures help to drive bilateral agreements, even if a host country has comparatively low multilateral barriers to trade and investment.
Since the early 1990s the world has seen an explosion of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) between North and South. Mark Manger argues that current North-South PTAs are not primarily about liberalizing exports as is usually assumed. Rather, they are driven by the needs of foreign direct investment. The interests of multinational firms in investing in developing countries converge with the desires of the host countries to attract foreign capital. Yet to be politically feasible in the developed country, North-South PTAs must discriminate against third countries. PTAs thus create a competitive dynamic between countries, as excluded firms lobby their governments to restore access to important investment locations, leading to yet more preferential agreements. Based on extensive research in Europe, Japan, and the Americas and interviews with decision-makers in governments and the private sector, this book offers a new perspective on the roles of the state and corporations in international trade.
When President Salinas traveled to Europe in late January 1990 to advertise Mexico as an attractive investment location, he returned disheartened. European corporate and political leaders, mesmerized by the economic potential of central and eastern Europe emerging from communist rule, showed little interest in Latin America (Cameron and Tomlin 2000: 1–2). Yet in 1999 the EU concluded its first inter-regional FTA with Mexico. Three years later, EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy (2002) referred to Mexico as a beautiful bride between two lovers, whom the EU “would like to tempt … back closer to the centre of the bed, and invite … not to sleep right on one edge of the mattress!”
What had made Mexico so attractive? The country had just emerged from a severe financial crisis that cast doubt on its growth potential over the next years. In European capitals, most government attention was focused on future EU enlargement. Many observers expected the negotiation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, spanning from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego, rather than a comprehensive trade and investment deal between Mexico and the then fifteen EU member states.
NAFTA's entry into force, however, fundamentally changed the parameters for foreign direct investment in Mexico. The rapid depreciation of the Mexican peso depressed domestic demand and reduced imports, but made Mexico more attractive as an export platform. Yet to the detriment of outsiders NAFTA ensured that only US and Canadian firms could fully benefit from these developments.