Moving beyond the dead end of economic partnership agreements. Advocating ACP States initiative at the WTO

A year after the deadline agreed upon by ACP States and the Commission for the conclusion of EPA, negotiations are still under way. This article examines one the major reasons for this failure : the inadequacy between the chosen liberalisation mode and the development objective. Indeed, this approach summons four major problems: the difficulty of choosing, at a regional scale, products that will be entitled to protection as exceptions, price losses related to the suppression of most custom duties, the hazard of trade diversions that would allow European companies to benefit from a peculiar advantage without lowering prices for ACP consumers, and the obstacle to diversification provoked by a radical but selective liberalisation. Thus, the present article suggests that ACP countries take an initiative, at the multilateral scale, by obtaining through concessions the authorization to reduce and not suppress custom duties on their EU importations, on all products, and not only on 80 % as established.