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Trade-diverting free trade agreements, external tariffs, and feasibility

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  • Baybars Karacaovali

Abstract

There has been a proliferation of preferential trade agreements within the last two decades. This paper analyzes the effects of free trade agreements (FTAs) on external tariffs in small economies where protection decisions are made politically. Our model determines tariff rates endogenously instead of assuming they are fixed during or after the formation of FTAs as commonly done in the literature. We show that when an FTA is established, the tariff rates that apply to non-members essentially decline. More importantly, we investigate the interaction between endogenous tariff determination and the feasibility of an FTA. We find that the expectation of tariff reductions under endogenous tariffs could make an otherwise feasible FTA if tariffs were fixed become infeasible. However, if domestic import-competing sectors are relatively smaller and the government places a significant weight on political contributions relative to social welfare, an FTA with endogenous tariffs may be more likely to be feasible than an FTA assumed to fix external tariffs.

Suggested Citation

  • Baybars Karacaovali, 2016. "Trade-diverting free trade agreements, external tariffs, and feasibility," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 1-22, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:25:y:2016:i:1:p:1-22
    DOI: 10.1080/09638199.2014.924657
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    Cited by:

    1. Baybars Karacaovali & Deveraux Talagi, 2017. "International Trade Effects of Trans-Pacific Partnership for North America," Working Papers 201701, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    2. Baybars Karacaovali, 2015. "Varying Political Economy Weights of Protection: The Case of Colombia," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 290-312, July.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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