Mega-regional Trade Agreements and South Africa's Trade Strategy: Implications for the Tripartite Free Trade Area Negotiations

This paper assesses the mega-regional trade agreements and their implications for South Africa. These mega-regionals are engaged in negotiations and little real information on this negotiation process is available. Assessing the final implications involves a great deal of speculation. However it is known that the eventual agreements will be 'WTO-plus' which will reinforce South Africa's realisation that its unilateral and regional policies must move forward to keep abreast of international developments and best practices. The main focus of this paper is the Trans-Pacific Partnership as this is the most advanced in both negotiations and economic and development status diversity of its members.