The false promise of Aid for Trade
Abstract Aid for Trade (AfT) has gained prominence as an innovative form of donor support in the era of the ‘post’-Washington Consensus. Institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the European Commission, and the UK Department for International Development (DfID) have heralded AfT concessions as a means of creating a level economic playing field between industrialised nations and countries in the global South. Specifically, AfT mechanisms have been praised as a means of aligning trade liberalisation deals (whether in the Doha Round or within bilaterals) to poverty reduction objectives. Donor AfT assistance to low-income states’ trade capacity – including support to government ministries, private sector development, and local infrastructure – are understood to construct a more balanced global trade system conducive to the needs of ‘the poor’. This article, however, through critical analysis of AfT discourse within the ‘moral economies’ of multilateral WTO and bilateral EU-ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) negotiations, points to the strategic purposes of donor language in rationalising asymmetric North- South trade systems. Moreover, it questions the ‘development’ credentials of AfT assistance, given its disbursement to strategically significant middle-income states in relation to Western overseas interventions, private sector activities that have dubious consequences for supposed beneficiaries, and the tying of AfT disbursements to the implementation of inappropriate policies.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Humanities Bridgeford Street, Oxford Road,Manchester, M13 9PL|
Phone: +44(0)7717 881567
Web page: http://www.gdi.manchester.ac.uk/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Oecd, 2010. "Trading Out of Poverty: How Aid for Trade Can Help," OECD Journal on Development, OECD Publishing, vol. 10(2), pages 7-41.
- Wolfe, Robert, 2009. "The special safeguard fiasco in the WTO: the perils of inadequate analysis and negotiation," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(04), pages 517-544, October.
- Calì, Massimiliano & te Velde, Dirk Willem, 2011. "Does Aid for Trade Really Improve Trade Performance?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 725-740, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:16011. 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: (Rowena Harding)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.