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Are Preferential Trade Agreements with Non-trade Objectives a Stumbling Bloc for Multilateral Liberalization?

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Author Info

  • Nuno Limão

    (University of Maryland)

Abstract

Increasingly, in regional agreements, large economies, e.g. U.S. and E.U., offer lower trade barriers in exchange for cooperation by small economies in environmental, intellectual property and other issues. What is the effect of such agreements on multilateral trade liberalization? We show that, even in the absence of trade creation or diversion, such preferential agreements increase the cost of multilateral tariff reductions for the goods exported from small to large countries. This occurs because multilateral tariff reductions decrease the threat that large countries can use in preferential agreements causing a loss in their bargaining power. The result is due to current exceptions in the WTO to the most-favorite-nation rule which allow for lower than MFN tariffs, e.g. art. XXIV and GSP. By explicitly modeling the interaction between preferential and multilateral negotiations we analyze the effects on multilateral tariffs and welfare of strengthening the MFN rule and show that large and small countries may not prefer the same regime of rules.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Trade with number 0206001.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 26 Jun 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpit:0206001

Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on PC; pages: 45; figures: included
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: Multilateral trade negotiations; most-favorite-nation; regional integration; cross-border externalities; environment; labor standards; bargaining; repeated games.;

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References

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  1. Carlo Perroni & John Whalley, 2000. "The new regionalism: trade liberalization or insurance?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 1-24, February.
  2. Horn, Henrik & Mavroidis, Petros C, 2001. "Economic and Legal Aspects of the Most Favoured Nation Clause," CEPR Discussion Papers 2859, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Arvind Panagariya, 2000. "Preferential Trade Liberalization: The Traditional Theory and New Developments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 287-331, June.
  4. Madanmohan Ghosh & Carlo Perroni & John Whalley, 1998. "The Value of MFN Treatment," NBER Working Papers 6461, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Wilfred J. Ethier, 1998. "Regionalism in a Multilateral World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1214-1245, December.
  6. Lisandro Abrego & Carlo Perroni & John Whalley & Randall M. Wigle, 1999. "Trade and Environment: Bargaining Outcomes from Linked Negotiations," CSGR Working papers series 27/99, Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick.
  7. Cebi, Pinar & Ludema, Rodney, 2002. "The Rise and Fall of the Most-Favored-Nation Clause," Working Papers 15853, United States International Trade Commission, Office of Economics.
  8. Bond, Eric W. & Syropoulos, Constantinos & Winters, L. Alan, 2001. "Deepening of regional integration and multilateral trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 335-361, April.
  9. Fernandez, Raquel & Portes, Jonathan, 1998. "Returns to Regionalism: An Analysis of Nontraditional Gains from Regional Trade Agreements," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(2), pages 197-220, May.
  10. Giovanni Maggi, 1999. "The Role of Multilateral Institutions in International Trade Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 190-214, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Rodney Ludema and Ann Maria Mayda, 2008. "Do Countries Free Ride on MFN?," Working Papers gueconwpa~08-08-04, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2004. "Backward Stealing and Forward Manipulation in the WTO," NBER Working Papers 10420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Limão, Nuno, 2005. "Preferential Trade Agreements as Stumbling Blocks for Multilateral Trade Liberalization: Evidence for the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 4884, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Karacaovali, Baybars & Limão, Nuno, 2005. "The Clash of Liberalizations: Preferential vs. Multilateral Trade Liberalization in the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 4973, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Limao, Nuno & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2005. "Trade preferences to small developing countries and the welfare costs of lost multilateral liberalization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3565, The World Bank.
  6. Nuno Limao, 2006. "Preferential Trade Agreements as Stumbling Blocks for Multilateral Trade Liberalization: Evidence for the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 896-914, June.
  7. Bernhard Herz & Marco Wagner, 2010. "Multilateralism versus Regionalism!?," Working Papers 089, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).

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