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The Safeguard Clause, Asymmetric Information, and Endogenous Protection


  • Kohler, Philippe
  • Moore, Michael O


When imports surge, governments often must seek simultaneously to satisfy protectionist pressures through increased tariffs, induce adjustment to foreign competition, and minimize consumer costs of protection. The WTO's safeguard clause can be viewed as an attempt to resolve these potentially conflicting goals since it allows governments to offer an implicit contract to protected industries to induce adjustment. In this paper, we show that with asymmetric information about costs, protected industries behave strategically which leads to under-adjustment. The safeguard clause therefore cannot optimally resolve the conflict among domestic political objectives. Copyright 2001 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Kohler, Philippe & Moore, Michael O, 2001. "The Safeguard Clause, Asymmetric Information, and Endogenous Protection," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 52-67, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:9:y:2001:i:1:p:52-67

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