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The WTO and the Poorest Countries

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Author Info

  • Aaditya Mattoo
  • Arvind Subramanian

Abstract

Small and poor countries pose a challenge for the World Trade Organization (WTO). These countries have acquired a significant say in WTO decision-making. However, they have limited ability to engage in the reciprocity game that is at the heart of the WTO, and have limited interests in the broader liberalization agenda because of their preferential access to industrial country markets. Accommodating the interests of the small and poor countries is desirable in itself, but would also facilitate expeditious progress in the Doha Round. The stark reality facing the system is that the desirable ways of addressing their concerns- providing them additional financial assistance and nonpreferential market access-is proving infeasible. As a result, the system is gravitating toward the less desirable option of relieving these countries of obligations, including those that might be welfare-enhancing for them.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 04/81.

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Length: 25
Date of creation: 01 May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:04/81

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Related research

Keywords: Developing countries; Trade; World Trade Organization; preferential access; market access; trading partners; nonpreferential access; political economy; multilateral liberalization; trading system; quantitative restrictions; world economy; trade barriers; liberalization agenda; market opening; imports of goods; imports of goods and services; tariff liberalization; intellectual property; global trade; trade liberalization; intellectual property rights; liberalization efforts; trade in services; multilateral trading system; world trade; tariff rates; trade restrictions; trade policies; foreign markets; tariff rate; dynamic gains; world price; average tariff rate; quota-free access; preferential liberalization; market liberalization; average tariff; preferential market access; food exports; reciprocal concessions; preference erosion; domestic industry; trade reform; diversion of imports; competition policies; global liberalization; export opportunities; partner country; multilateral trade negotiations; world trading system; multilateral commitments; multilateral trade; agricultural subsidies; partner countries; tariff reductions; agricultural exports; trade facilitation; preferential agreement; reduction of barriers; trade preferences; market access commitments; trade-related intellectual property rights; eliminating barriers; export subsidies; preferential access to markets; trade negotiations; local content; political costs; protectionist measures; agricultural liberalization; agricultural trade; low trade; import liberalization; import-competing producers; comparative advantage; unskilled labor; balance of payments; fair trade; rules of origin; improved market access; gats rules; trips agreement; tariff cuts; negative welfare; global trade liberalization; meaningful reciprocity; reciprocal basis; low trade barriers; protectionist regimes; net exporters; domestic prices; preference schemes;

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References

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  1. Subramanian, Arvind & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2007. "The WTO promotes trade, strongly but unevenly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 151-175, May.
  2. Aaditya Mattoo & Devesh Roy & Arvind Subramanian, 2003. "The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act and its Rules of Origin: Generosity Undermined?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(6), pages 829-851, 06.
  3. Hoekman, Bernard & Ng, Francis & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2001. "Eliminating excessive tariffs on exports of least developed countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2604, The World Bank.
  4. J. Michael Finger & Philip Schuler, 2000. "Implementation of Urugauy Round Commitments: The Development Challenge," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(04), pages 511-525, 04.
  5. William Easterly, 2003. "Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 23-48, Summer.
  6. William R. Cline, 2004. "Trade Policy and Global Poverty," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 379.
  7. repec:rus:hseeco:123147 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Marcelo Olarreaga & Çaglar Özden, 2005. "AGOA and Apparel: Who Captures the Tariff Rent in the Presence of Preferential Market Access?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 63-77, 01.
  9. Stephen Tokarick, 2003. "Measuring the Impact of Distortions in Agricultural Trade in Partial and General Equilibrium," IMF Working Papers 03/110, International Monetary Fund.
  10. repec:rus:hseeco:123040 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Shubham Chaudhuri & Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Panle Jia, 2006. "Estimating the Effects of Global Patent Protection in Pharmaceuticals: A Case Study of Quinolones in India," Working Papers id:772, eSocialSciences.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Limão, Nuno & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2005. "Trade Preferences to Small Developing Countries and the Welfare Costs of Lost Multilateral Liberalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 5045, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Aaditya Mattoo & Arvind Subramanian, 2008. "Currency Undervaluation and Sovereign Wealth Funds: A New Role for the World Trade Organization," Working Paper Series WP08-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  3. Subramanian, Arvind & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2005. "The WTO Promotes Trade, Strongly But Unevenly," CEPR Discussion Papers 5122, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Baffes, John, 2011. "Cotton subsidies, the WTO, and the'cotton problem'," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5663, The World Bank.
  5. Bamou, Ernest & Tchanou, Jean Pierre, 2006. "Impact assessment of the multilateral agricultural trade negotiations on CEMAC countries," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 333-349, April.
  6. Claudio Paiva, 2005. "Assessing Protectionism and Subsidies in Agriculture," IMF Working Papers 05/21, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Das, Dilip K., 2005. "The Doha Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and the Developing Economies," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 6(2).
  8. Andrew Brown & Robert Stern, 2005. "Concepts of Fairness in the Global Trading System," Working Papers 544, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.

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