Assessing the Economic Gains of Free Market Access for the Least Developed Countries in the QUAD
The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are the poorest countries in the world. Their share of world trade has declined from 0.8% in 1980 to less than 0.5% today. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact on the LDCs of getting duty- and quota-free access to their main export markets. Our conclusion is that the aggregate benefits are likely to be modest. The main reasons are (1) that most LDCs presently enjoy quite liberal market access in important export markets, and (2) that the ability of LDCs to take advantage of trade preferences is limited, due to supply constraints and restrictive rules of origin.
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