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Did the Multi-fiber Agreement Make the NAFTA Politically More Acceptable? A Theoretical Analysis

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  • Arvind Panagariya

    (University of Maryland)

  • Rupa Dutta Gupta

    (IMF)

Abstract

The central question addressed in this paper is whether the presence of the MFA made the NAFTA politically more acceptable. Assuming that the government maximizes a weighted sum of welfare and producer profits, we derive four key results. First, taking the initial level of trade restriction as exogenously given, it is possible for an FTA to be endorsed by both parties under the MFA-like quota in one country though it is unambiguously rejected under a tariff that provides equal protection. Second, if the initial MFA quota is itself chosen endogenously, as long as all quota rents accrue to exporting countries, the quota is set so as to yield either autarky or free trade. Third, an intermediate outcome can obtain if quota rents are shared between the trading partners as is true, for example, under a tariff quota. Depending on the degree of the government’s bias in favor of producers, this outcome may be more or less restrictive than that obtained under a tariff. Finally, assuming parameter values that give rise to the intermediate outcome initially, it remains possible for an FTA to be endorsed under the MFA-type quota when it is turned down by one of the potential partners under a tariff. But it is now also possible for the opposite to happen: an FTA that is endorsed under a tariff may be turned down under the MFA-type quota.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Trade with number 0308010.

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Length: 345 pages
Date of creation: 18 Aug 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpit:0308010

Note: Type of Document - Tex/WordPerfect/Handwritten; prepared on IBM PC - PC-TEX/UNIX Sparc TeX; to print on HP/PostScript/Franciscan monk; pages: 345,395,4323247 ; figures: included/request from author/draw your own
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  1. Winters, L. Alan, 1996. "Regionalism versus Multilateralism," CEPR Discussion Papers 1525, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
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  7. Pravin Krishna, . "Regionalism and Multilaterialism: A Political Economy Approach," Working Papers 96-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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  10. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1993. "The Politics of Free Trade Agreements," NBER Working Papers 4597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Levy, Philip I, 1997. "A Political-Economic Analysis of Free-Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 506-19, September.
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  15. repec:fth:coluec:9596-04 is not listed on IDEAS
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