Report on the treatment of medical devices in regional trade agreements (RTA) An example of the lack of transparency in the negotiations, the specific plans for reducing tariffs in the agreement have not yet been announced (in May 2019). While it is not known to what extent signatory countries must reduce their tariffs, the experience of previous liberalisation programmes can show the potentially harmful effects of AfCFTA. The liberalization of tariffs will inevitably supplant workers in countries where unemployment is already high, and it is likely to further reduce wages in many sectors, at least in the short term. Industries that currently enjoy some degree of protection and “feed” behind customs barriers will be fully exposed to global market forces by the agreement. The resulting increased competition will certainly lead to job losses in different sectors. The Orthodox economy assumes that workers expelled by liberalisation can be quickly and easily admitted to other sectors in Active Employment. Eliminating “trade distortions” would allow each country to take advantage of its competitive advantages and short-term eviction will be offset by long-term growth. This is the rhetoric of AfCFTA supporters, but it is far from the lived realities of the liberalisation of destructive trade already practiced around the world. Discussions on the successor to the Cotonou Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP) provide room for manoeuvre to agree on principles for such AfT approaches to promote regional integration. If this task is not completed beforehand, it could be entrusted to the German Presidency of the Council, which would then have the opportunity to set its own priorities. Presumably, the issue of afT, which promotes regional integration, can be dealt with harmoniously, in contrast to the “real sticking points” of the post-Cotonou negotiations, such as how to anchor migration in the agreement and its regional pillars.
African states and regions have already concluded several agreements with partners outside Africa. The main ones are the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union; There are also free trade agreements and preferential agreements (the latter cover only a selection of sectors) with other countries and regions such as the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) or Mercosur.