Development-oriented: The EPO provides asymmetric access to SADC-EPA group partners. They can protect sensitive products from full liberalisation and safeguard measures can be used if imports from the EU increase too rapidly. A detailed development chapter identifies trade-related areas that are eligible for financing. The agreement also contains a chapter on sustainable development that covers social and environmental issues. Since the EU and South Africa concluded a Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) in 1999, the two sides have enjoyed a strong and growing trade relationship. In June 2016, the EU and South Africa – along with Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland – signed the Southern African Economic Partnership Agreement (SADC EPA), which governs trade in goods between the two regions, replacing the trade provisions of the TDCA. The EPO is helping to improve the business climate between partners by providing a stable and forward-looking framework for businesses in South Africa and across Southern Africa. It helps to promote bilateral and regional trade, thus offering new opportunities to achieve the objectives of the strategic partnership between South Africa and the EU. The EPO also contains a large number of “safety measures” or safety valves. EPA countries can activate them and increase import duties if imports from the EU increase so sharply or so rapidly that they threaten to disrupt domestic production. The agreement has no less than five bilateral safeguard measures, one of which is not replicated in any other EU trade agreement. In addition, if the EU applies a protective measure in accordance with WTO rules, the EU will offer its EPA partners a 5-year renewable waiver from its application, which will allow SADC EPA countries to continue exporting.
This paper assesses the likely effects of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the East African Community (EAC) and the European Union (EU). Customs data are used to estimate the effects of the revenues and benefits of an EPA, with or without an exception list. The effects on revenue and well-being are rather small. The paper then discusses the benefits that would have occurred if the EAC-EU protocol on rules of origin had been simplified and made more compatible with the multilateral trading system. The inclusion of services would also have contributed to the objective of increased competitiveness in merchandise trade, while the timetable for tariff reductions within the EAC should have been shorter. Finally, it is suggested that this assessment should also apply to other African EPAs. On 10 June 2016, the European Union signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the SADC EPA Group, comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). . . .