The United States is not negotiating any large free trade agreements but has over a thousand mini deals, which are smaller, targeted agreements with foreign partners. Mini deals cover standards and rules and tend to go under the radar as they do not need congressional approval. The European Union has the same phenomena—thousands of small deals that regulate rules of origins, technical barriers, and other details. Mini deals appear invisible but continue to play an important part of trade policy.
What advantages and disadvantages do these mini deals have? How can governments ensure accountability? Meet two scholars from both sides of the Atlantic who have tried to map them.
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE)
Head of Global Regulatory Cooperation and International Procurement Negotiations, DG Trade, European Commission
Professor of Law, Georgetown Law