An Early Harvest Agreement (EHA) refers to a trade pact that permits the immediate implementation of select provisions of a larger trade agreement between two countries. Early Harvest Agreements are usually implemented with the intention of providing quick access to benefits of a trade agreement while the negotiation process for a comprehensive trade deal continues.
This agreement can be seen as a short-term solution that allows countries to establish trading relationships while they work out the specifics of trade agreements. EHA provides an avenue for quicker access to the benefits of trade agreements, such as opportunities for increased trade, reduction in tariffs, and investments in new markets, among others.
Early Harvest Agreements typically cover trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property, and other areas of economic cooperation. The specific elements of an EHA depend on the interests of the countries involved in the agreement. The duration of an EHA can also vary, depending on the time required to complete negotiations for a comprehensive trade agreement.
In general, EHAs are designed to pave the way for the establishment of longer-term trade agreements between countries. They provide an opportunity for countries to test the waters and see how well they can work together to foster mutually beneficial trade relations.
One example of a successful EHA is the one between New Zealand and China. The EHA, which was signed in 2008, allowed New Zealand`s dairy industry to export more milk powder to China and opened up markets for its wine and wood products. Negotiations on a broader free trade agreement were concluded soon after, and, today, China is New Zealand`s largest export destination for goods and services.
In conclusion, Early Harvest Agreements play an essential role in facilitating trade between countries. They offer an opportunity for countries to reap the benefits of trade agreements quickly while negotiations for a comprehensive trade deal continues. EHAs also help build trust and foster a closer relationship between countries, which can pave the way for more significant trade agreements in the future.