Regional Blocs and Foreign Direct Investment
The paper examines the impact of the emergence of regional blocs on the patterns of interbloc and intrabloc trade when firms have the option to engage in foreign direct investment (FDI). For exogenously given external tariffs, when firms have the option to engage in FDI, all interbloc trade may cease-complete trade diversion that is replaced by interbloc FDI investment creation. In such an event the volume of world trade declines but this is more than offset by the increase in world output due to direct investment. The paper also investigates the optimal tariff that a trading bloc levies on imports from nonmember countries. The tariffs are restricted by the option to engage in two-way direct investment; hence, the regional blocs are hampered from mutually harming one another through an escalation in the tariff war. Finally, the formation of two regional blocs enhances the welfare of all countries. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.
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Volume (Year): 11 (2003)
Issue (Month): 5 (November)
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