A Wave of Protectionism? An Analysis of Economic and Political Considerations
In light of the U.S. current account deficit, pressure is high on Asian countries to revalue their currencies. The calls from some U.S. policymakers for tariffs on imports from China has sparked fears that this could trigger a world-wide surge in protectionism. This study evaluates the risk of protectionism, considering two dimensions: first, the economic effects of tariffs; second, the incentives for policymakers to adopt tariffs. Following the political economy literature, we distinguish 'benevolent' policymakers - who care about long-term GDP - and 'myopic' policymakers, for whom short-term considerations are important. An analysis of the economic effects using the Bank of Canada's Global Economy Model shows that the gains from import tariffs are small: in the short-term, tariffs raise the price of imports and shift consumption toward domestically-produced goods; but they also lead to a real appreciation. This improves the terms of trade, but falling export volumes lead to a reduction in GDP in the long-run. As regards the political dimension, we conclude that a 'benevolent' policymaker would not adopt tariffs, because of negative long-term economic consequences, but 'myopic' policymakers might be tempted to exploit short-term political gains. Given the potentially high costs of protectionist trade policies, protectionism is therefore rightly viewed as an important risk.
|Date of creation:||2008|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 234 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G9, Canada|
Phone: 613 782-8845
Fax: 613 782-8874
Web page: http://www.bank-banque-canada.ca/
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cletus C. Coughlin & K. Alec Chrystal & Geoffrey E. Wood, 1988. "Protectionist trade policies: a survey of theory, evidence and rationale," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 12-29.
- Kym Anderson, 2005.
"On the Virtues of Multilateral Trade Negotiations,"
The Economic Record,
The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(255), pages 414-438, December.
- Kym Anderson, 2005. "On the Virtues of Multilateral Trade Negotiations," Centre for International Economic Studies Working Papers 2005-15, University of Adelaide, Centre for International Economic Studies.
- Hamid Faruqee & Douglas Laxton & Dirk Muir & Paolo A. Pesenti, 2007. "Smooth Landing or Crash? Model-Based Scenarios of Global Current Account Rebalancing," NBER Chapters, in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 377-456 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hamid Faruqee & Douglas Laxton & Dirk Muir & Paolo Pesenti, 2005. "Smooth landing or crash? model based scenarios of global current account rebalancing," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Hamid Faruqee & Douglas Laxton & Dirk Muir & Paolo Pesenti, 2005. "Smooth Landing or Crash? Model-Based Scenarios of Global Current Account Rebalancing," NBER Working Papers 11583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
- Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
- Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 21-92, Tel Aviv.
- Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rene Lalonde & Dirk Muir, 2007. "The Bank of Canada's Version of the Global Economy Model (BoC-GEM)," Technical Reports 98, Bank of Canada.
- Romain Wacziarg & Karen Horn Welch, 2008. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(2), pages 187-231, June.
- Romain Wacziarg & Karen Horn Welch, 2003. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wacziarg, Romain & Welch, Karen Horn, 2003. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," Research Papers 1826, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
- Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
- Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2003. "An Essay on the Revived Bretton Woods System," NBER Working Papers 9971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Piermartini, Roberta & Teh, Robert, 2005. "Demystifying modelling methods for trade policy," WTO Discussion Papers 10, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
- kishore gawande & pravin krishna, 2005. "The Political Economy of Trade Policy: Empirical Approaches," International Trade 0503003, EconWPA.
- Hadi Salehi Esfahani, 2005. "Searching for the (dark) forces behind protection," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 283-314, April.
- William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
- Robert C. Feenstra & Chang Hong, 2010. "China's Exports and Employment," NBER Chapters, in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 167-199 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert C. Feenstra & Chang Hong, 2007. "China's Exports and Employment," NBER Working Papers 13552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kang, In-Bong & Greene, Kenneth, 1999. "A Political Economic Analysis of Congressional Voting Patterns on NAFTA," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 385-397, March.
- Eswar S Prasad & Qing Wang & Thomas Rumbaugh, 2005. "Putting the Cart Before the Horse? Capital Account Liberalization and Exchange Rate Flexibility in China," IMF Policy Discussion Papers 05/1, International Monetary Fund.
- Nollen, Stanley D & Iglarsh, Harvey J, 1990. "Explanations of Protectionism in International Trade Votes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 66(2), pages 137-153, August.
- David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
- Julio J. Rotemberg, 1982. "Monopolistic Price Adjustment and Aggregate Output," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 517-531.
- Robert C. Feenstra, 1992. "How Costly Is Protectionism?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 159-178, Summer.
- Howard J. Wall, 1999. "Using the gravity model to estimate the costs of protection," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 33-40. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:08-2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.