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Why Should Trade Negotiators Negotiate About?

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  • Paul Krugman

Abstract

In recent years there have been growing demands to make trade liberalization contingent on adoption of common labor and environmental standards. The straightforward economic answer is that this makes little sense: neither the gains from trade nor the gains from appropriate regulation are compromised if other countries impose standards that are weaker than your own. It is possible to offer second-bet economic rationales for harmonization, but these are empirically unconvincing. The only serious argument in favor or regulation is political: that regulation which is in the national interest may not be politically feasible unless other countries do the same.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Krugman, 1997. "Why Should Trade Negotiators Negotiate About?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 113-120, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:35:y:1997:i:1:p:113-120
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    Cited by:

    1. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 1999. "Multilateral trade negotiations, bilateral opportunism and the rules of GATT," Working papers 6, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    2. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
    3. Finger, J. Michael & Reincke, Ulrich & Castro, Adriana, 1999. "Market access bargaining in the Uruguay Round - Rigid or relaxed reciprocity?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2258, The World Bank.
    4. Cavalletti, Barbara & Borino, Floriana, 2015. "The Challenge of Analysing the Impact of Environmental Policy on Competitiveness - L’analisi dell’impatto della politica ambientale sulla competitività: una sfida ancora aperta," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 68(2), pages 153-171.
    5. Pham Do, Kim Hang, 2014. "The role of issue linkage in managing the Mekong," WIDER Working Paper Series 164, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Cletus C. Coughlin, 2002. "The controversy over free trade: the gap between economists and the general public," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan., pages 1-22.

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