The experience gained under the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement will also help guide the subsequent negotiations for an EU-ASEAN trade pact, he added. RCEP requires ratification by 6 of the 10 ASEAN member states and 3 of the 5 ASEAN-FTA partners for the agreement to enter into force. Therefore, the timing of implementation depends on the internal processes of ratification of the agreement by the relevant RCEP partners. The free trade agreement provides for 70 years of copyright protection. Producers based in Singapore may collect broadcasting and public performance royalties for productions exported to the EU. More generally, some point out that these provisions, bound by the free trade agreement, may limit current and future congresses if they plan to revise the immigration law for businessmen, contract traders, intra-company transfers and professional workers, given that the United States risks violating the free trade agreement. In addition, bilateral free trade agreements also play a role in trade liberalization. At present, markets are opened mainly through multilateral negotiations within the World Trade Organization, by organizations such as APEC or by sectoral initiatives. Given the slow pace of the WTO multilateral negotiating process and the lack of further progress in sectoral trade liberalization under the 1996 Information Technology Agreement (50), countries can lead a “final race” around the WTO and liberalize trade with other like-minded countries. However, the trade diversion caused by such free trade agreements frees up pressure on governments to create their own free trade agreements or join existing free trade agreements.
Traditionally protectionist countries such as China and Japan are now actively aspiring to FTA-type agreements with other nations. Bilateral free trade agreements can therefore become building blocks rather than stumbling blocks for the liberalization of world trade. As Singapore is in fact already a free trade country, much of the negotiations on the free trade agreement have focused on access to its services markets. The free trade agreement offers significant market access for the entire services sector of the other, subject to certain exceptions that must be made in writing – the so-called negative list approach (Chapter 8). Exceptions concern sectors that generally require certification or licensing from the state (lawyers, accountants), state institutions (airports, social security provision, public hospitals, government companies) or national policies (nuclear). Annex C lists the areas reserved by each country. Workers` rights. (Chapter 17) In the free trade agreement, labour obligations are part of the central text of the trade agreement. Both Parties reaffirm their obligations as members of the International Labour Organization and shall endeavour to ensure that their national laws provide for labour standards consistent with internationally recognised labour principles.
The agreement also contains language that it is inappropriate to weaken or reduce national labour protection in order to promote trade or investment. The agreement also obliges the parties to effectively enforce their own national labour laws. This obligation should be applicable through the dispute settlement procedures of the Agreement (see Dispute Settlement section). The U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement states that both sides must ensure that their domestic environmental legislation ensures a high level of environmental protection and strive to further improve these laws. The agreement also requires the parties to effectively impose their own national environmental laws. With regard to labour standards, both parties must also reaffirm their obligations as members of the International Labour Organization. They must ensure that their national laws provide for labour standards in line with internationally recognised labour principles. . . .