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Carbon, Trade Policy and Carbon Free Trade Areas

  • Yan Dong
  • John Whalley

Abstract This paper discusses both the potential contribution that trade policy initiatives can make towards the achievement of significant global carbon emissions reduction and the potential impacts of proposals now circulating for carbon reduction motivated geographical trade arrangements, including carbon-free trade areas. We first suggest that trade policy is likely to be a relatively minor consideration in climate change containment. The dominant influence on carbon emissions globally for the next several decades will be growth more than trade and its composition, and in turn, the size of trade seemingly matters more than its composition given differences in emission intensity between tradables and non-tradables. We then note that differences in emissions intensity across countries are larger than across products or sectors and so issues of country discrimination in trade policy (and violations of MFN) arise. Copyright 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal World Economy.

Volume (Year): 33 (2010)
Issue (Month): 9 (09)
Pages: 1073-1094

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Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:33:y:2010:i:9:p:1073-1094
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  1. Whalley, John, 1979. "Uniform domestic tax rates, trade distortions and economic integration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 213-221, March.
  2. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Carol Gabyzon, 1996. "Fundamental Tax Reform and Border Tax Adjustments," Peterson Institute Press: Policy Analyses in International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa43.
  3. Ben Lockwood & John Whalley, 2010. "Carbon-motivated Border Tax Adjustments: Old Wine in Green Bottles?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(6), pages 810-819, 06.
  4. Roland Ismer & Karsten Neuhoff, 2007. "Border tax adjustment: a feasible way to support stringent emission trading," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 137-164, October.
  5. Piggott, John & Whalley, John & Wigle, Randall M., 1991. "How large are the incentives to join sub-global carbon reduction initiatives?," Discussion Papers, Series II 154, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
  6. John Whalley, 2008. "Recent Regional Agreements: Why So Many, Why So Much Variance in Form, Why Coming So Fast, and Where Are They Headed?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 517-532, 04.
  7. Dong, Yan & Whalley, John, 2011. "Carbon motivated regional trade arrangements: Analytics and simulations," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 2783-2792.
  8. Nadim Ahmad & Andrew Wyckoff, 2003. "Carbon Dioxide Emissions Embodied in International Trade of Goods," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2003/15, OECD Publishing.
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