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Regional Trade Agreements

The Doha Declaration directed the Rules Group to clarify and improve disciplines and procedures governing Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) under the existing WTO provisions. To that end, the General Council adopted a decision in December 2006 for the provisional application of the “Transparency Mechanism for Regional Trade Agreements” to improve the transparency of RTAs.

Pursuant to its mandate, the Rules Group has also explored the establishment of further standards governing the relationship of RTAs to the global trading system. However, such discussions have thus far failed to produce common ground on how to clarify or improve existing RTA rules.

The United States will continue to advocate increased transparency and strong substantive standards for RTAs that support and advance the multilateral trading system

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