Regionalism and the WTO: New Rules for the Game?
AbstractThe recent growth of regional integration agreements (customs unions and free-trade areas) has been accompanied by a mounting concern for the health of the multilateral trading system. Much of this concern stems from the generally accepted view that the current WTO rules do not provide an adequate set of disciplines on regional arrangements. The EU has been one of the main driving forces behind the recent growth of regionalism, but its interests are increasingly affected by regional arrangements formed between other countries. This paper argues that the lack of clear WTO disciplines on regional arrangements may have already had adverse consequences for the EU. Given that the EU has declared its support for a clarification of the rules, the paper tries to identify where its priorities should lie. It is argued that there should be two such priorities. The first should be to define more precisely what is meant by an "applicable" tariff. It has never been clear whether this refers to applied tariff rates or to bound ceilings. Because of this ambiguity, Mexico was able to raise applied tariffs (within bound ceilings) on imports from the EU and other third countries in response to the peso crisis, whilst lowering tariffs on her NAFTA partners. Secondly, the EU and other major WTO players need to address the problem of different rules of origin emerging from the proliferation of regional arrangements.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission in its series European Economy - Economic Papers with number 128.
Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jun 1998
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Coomunivcations Unit, B-1049 Bruxelles / Brussels
Fax: +32 2 298.08.23
Web page: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/index_en.htm
More information through EDIRC
world trade organisation;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Soloaga, Isidro & Winters, L. Alan, 1999.
"Regionalism in the Nineties: What Effect on Trade?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2183, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Soloaga, Isidro & Alan Wintersb, L., 2001. "Regionalism in the nineties: what effect on trade?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-29, March.
- Langhammer, Rolf J. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2002. "Erscheinungsformen regionaler Integrationsabkommen im weltwirtschaftlichen Ordnungsrahmen : Defizite und Dynamik," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 2887, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ECFIN INFO).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.