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The Most and the Least Favoured Nations: Norway's Trade Policy in Perspective

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  • Arne Melchior

Abstract

This article reviews some recent developments in Norway's trade policy, in the light of the WTO's Trade Policy Review of Norway, 2004. A main focus is on the relationship between MFN trade policy and Norway's numerous preferential trade arrangements. In spite of a growing number of free trade agreements the paper suggests that Norway's trade regime has not become more discriminatory. The reason is that cuts in MFN tariffs as well as improvements in GSP have eroded preference margins in manufacturing faster than the coverage of free trade agreements has expanded. As a result of liberalisation, the trade regime for manufacturing has become less discriminatory, not more. While Norway is on the whole a liberal-minded supporter of the world trade system, it has twice in recent history reacted with protectionism. Around 1980, a restrictive quota regime for clothing was implemented. This has later been dismantled, contributing to sharply increased imports from developing countries. For agriculture, Norway has currently high protection, and tariff preferences are limited. It is likely that agricultural protection will be gradually reduced due to the WTO, as well as through free trade agreements and improvements in GSP. Copyright 2006 The Author Journal compilation 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd .

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  • Arne Melchior, 2006. "The Most and the Least Favoured Nations: Norway's Trade Policy in Perspective," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(10), pages 1329-1346, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:29:y:2006:i:10:p:1329-1346
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    1. Joseph Francois & Bernard Hoekman & Miriam Manchin, 2006. "Preference Erosion and Multilateral Trade Liberalization," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(2), pages 197-216.
    2. Will Martin & Kym Anderson, 2006. "Agricultural Trade Reform and the Doha Development Agenda," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6889.
    3. Nuno Limão & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2006. "Trade Preferences to Small Developing Countries and the Welfare Costs of Lost Multilateral Liberalization," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(2), pages 217-240.
    4. Antoine Bouët & Yvan Decreux & Lionel Fontagné & Sébastien Jean & David Laborde, 2004. "A Consistent, Ad-Valorem Equivalent Measure of Applied Protection Across the World: The MAcMap-HS6 Database," Working Papers 2004-22, CEPII research center.
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