World Bank Data On Trade Agreements

This project provides data and analysis on the content of in-depth trade agreements. This database contains detailed information on the content of a subsample of eighteen of the most frequently addressed policy areas in a series of 283 agreements currently notified to the WTO between 1958 and 2017. For each agreement, the database shall cover the stated objectives and substantive obligations, as well as aspects relating to transparency, procedures and enforcement. This database represents the most comprehensive effort in terms of coverage of policy areas and the granularity of information in each area. This database is the result of cooperation with experts in various policy areas of science and other international organizations such as ITC, OECD, UNCTAD and WTO. Preferential trade agreements have always been a feature of the global trading system, but they have gained in importance in recent years. The number of TPAs increased from 50 in the early 1990s to around 300 in 2019. All WTO Members are currently parties to at least one and often several SATs. ENTPs have broadened their scope. While the average PTA covered 8 policy areas in the 1950s, it has averaged 17 in recent years. The rules embedded in the CRDs, as well as multilateral trade rules and other elements of international business law such as bilateral investment treaties, influence how countries (and thus the people and companies who live and operate there) process, invest, operate and, ultimately, develop.

Trade and investment regimes determine the extent of economic integration, competition rules influence economic efficiency, intellectual property rights are for innovation, and environmental and labour rules contribute to environmental and social outcomes. This database provides the tools to analyze these new dimensions of integration to better identify the content and consequences of DTCs. To assess the content of deep trade agreements, the following datasets were created: 1. Deep Trade Agreements Database 1.0 (horizontal depth) This dataset represents the coverage of 52 selected policy areas in 279 WTO notified FTAs signed between 1958 and 2015. It also contains information on the legal applicability of each policy area. This dataset captures the wide margin of content of deep trade agreements. Deep trade agreements are reciprocal agreements between countries that cover not only trade, but also other policy areas such as international investment and labour flows, as well as the protection of intellectual property rights and the environment. Although these agreements are still called trade agreements, their goal is integration beyond trade or deep integration.

Suggested quote for the Handbook of Deep Trade Agreements: Hofmann Claudia, Alberto Osnago and Michele Ruta, (2017). “Horizontal depth: a new database on the content of preferential trade agreements”. . . .