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Exploring the Impacts of Trade Liberalization in Asia and the Pacific

In: Challenges and Opportunities for Trade and Financial Integration in Asia and the Pacific

  • Anna Strutt

    (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP))

  • Mia Mikic

    ()

    (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP))

While it is commonly accepted that multilateral liberalization will bring the greatest global gains from liberalization, regional agreements may be much more feasible in the short term. The dictum from the traditional trade theory on the superiority of unilaterally applied free trade for a small economy under perfect competition is universally accepted but rarely applied to policymaking. Reasons for this are many, ranging from using trade policy for non-economic objectives (e.g., employment), to circumstances in an actual economy and markets being different from those of the economic model (e.g. existence of economies of scale, imperfect competition or imperfect information). Nevertheless many countries have embraced the advantages of open trade regimes and have pursued liberal trade unilaterally or more often through membership in the multilateral trading system, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). On the other hand, both trade theory and the international trading rules allow for the discriminatory trade policies in the forms of preferential or regional trade agreements.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Mia Mikic (ed.), 2009. "Challenges and Opportunities for Trade and Financial Integration in Asia and the Pacific," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), number tipub2563, December.
  • This item is provided by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in its series STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT with number tipub2563_chap2.
    Handle: RePEc:unt:ecchap:tipub2563_chap2
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