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Trade Liberalization and Institutional Constraints on Moves to Protectionism: Multilateralism vs. Regionalism

Author

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  • Sheldon, Ian M.
  • Chow, Daniel C.K.
  • McGuire, William

Abstract

In this paper, two key questions are asked: why has the GATT/WTO worked in terms of multilateral tariff reduction and promotion of global trade, and to what extent will it act as a constraint on economic nationalism? To answer these two questions, three themes are laid out in the paper: first, the seminal economic model rationalizing the economic logic of the GATT/WTO is assessed; second, the perceived relevance of the GATT/WTO in a world of increasing regionalism is discussed; and third, the robustness of the GATT/WTO legal framework and dispute resolution mechanism is evaluated. The key conclusion of the paper is that the underlying economic logic of the GATT/WTO is still relevant, but that enforcement of the cooperative agreement will likely be placed under significant strain with threat of increased protection, and even a potential trade war.

Suggested Citation

  • Sheldon, Ian M. & Chow, Daniel C.K. & McGuire, William, 2017. "Trade Liberalization and Institutional Constraints on Moves to Protectionism: Multilateralism vs. Regionalism," 2018 Allied Social Sciences Association (ASSA) Annual Meeting, January 5-7, 2018, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 266305, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:assa18:266305
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.266305
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    Keywords

    Institutional and Behavioral Economics; International Relations/Trade;

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