Deep Integration Agreements

Past event — 12 March 2020

Kühne Logistics University
Grosser Grasbrook 17, 20457 Hamburg, Room EE Lecture 1

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Prof. Ralph Ossa, PhD

Director of the Kühne Center for Sustainable Trade and Logistics / Kühne Foundation Professor of International Trade

University of Zurich, Switzerland


This project aims to improve our understanding of deep integration agreements, which have generated an extraordinary amount of controversy in recent years. Unlike ordinary trade agreements, deep integration agreements do not just focus on reducing tariff barriers but seek to achieve much broader economic integration. Prominent examples include the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiated between the EU and the US and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiated between the EU and Canada.
I proceed in three complementary parts, focusing on the most controversial deep integration issues. In a first part, I consider provisions regarding investor protection including the Investor-State Dispute Settlement System. My ambition is to provide a comprehensive theoretical treatment of international investment agreements, which sheds light on their fundamental purpose and assesses their real-world design. In a second part, I turn to efforts towards regulatory cooperation such as CETA’s Regulatory Cooperation Forum. Here, my goal is again to provide a broad theoretical analysis, which identifies the scope for regulatory cooperation and makes suggestions for their real-world design. In a third part, I study intellectual property rights protection, specifically the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). In particular, I propose to take a canonical model of intellectual property rights agreements to the data and quantitatively assess the efficiency and distributional implications of TRIPS.


Ralph Ossa is Chairman of the Department of Economics and holds the Kühne Foundation Professorship of International Trade at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. His research focuses on international economics with a particular emphasis on questions of policy relevance. For example, he has explored the economics of trade wars and trade talks and estimated how much countries gain from international trade. Prior to moving to Zurich, he served on the faculty of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He holds a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics.

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Birgit Kappert

Program Manager