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The Generalized System of Preferences of the United States: Does It Promote Industrialization and Economic Growth in Least Developed Countries?

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  • Dowlah Caf

    (City University of New York)

Abstract

The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)a system of differential and favorable trade arrangements toward less developed countries, adopted by the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT)has been around since the early 1970s. A primary objective of these schemes has been to promote industrialization and economic growth in less developed countries through trade rather than aid. The outcome of such programs has, however, been mixed. This paper identifies some of the underlying political and economic dynamics which led to the dismal performance of the GSP schemes of the United States in respect to the industrialization and economic growth of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The paper suggests that the effectiveness of GSP schemes could be significantly improved if they were brought under the binding WTO rules, if greater resources were directed to removing supply constraints in the LDCs, and if developed countries granted unwavering market access to LDC exports.

Suggested Citation

  • Dowlah Caf, 2008. "The Generalized System of Preferences of the United States: Does It Promote Industrialization and Economic Growth in Least Developed Countries?," The Law and Development Review, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 74-97, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:lawdev:v:1:y:2008:i:1:n:5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Clark, Don P, 1991. "Trade versus Aid: Distributions of Third World Development Assistance," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(4), pages 829-837, July.
    2. McCulloch, Rachel & Pinera, Jose, 1977. "Trade as Aid: The Political Economy of Tariff Preferences for Developing Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 959-967, December.
    3. Céline Carrère & Jaime de Melo, 2015. "Are Different Rules of Origin Equally Costly? Estimates from NAFTA," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Developing Countries in the World Economy, chapter 12, pages 277-298 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    Cited by:

    1. Herz Bernhard & Wagner Marco, 2011. "Regionalism as a Building Block for Multilateralism," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-25, March.

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