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Reevaluating the Role of Trade Agreements: Does Investment Globalization Make the WTO Obsolete?

  • Emily Blanchard

This paper demonstrates that international ownership can mitigate the terms of trade externalities that lead large countries to set inefficiently high tariffs, and may thereby substitute for negotiated tariff liberalization in eliminating the strategic manipulation of world prices. The policy prediction is unclear, however, since international cross-ownership also introduces an internal cost-shifting externality that can drive investment-host countries to expand local market access beyond efficient levels in an effort to extract rents from foreign investors. An immediate implication is that simply making large countries “act small” or completely diversify their global investment portfolios to neutralize traditionally understood terms of trade cost-shifting motives cannot ensure efficient trade policy regimes in an environment with international investment. At the same time, a modified version of the principle of reciprocity does continue to serve as an important guide to efficiency by balancing countries' external and internal pecuniary externalities.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2006/wp-cesifo-2006-05/cesifo1_wp1735.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1735.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1735
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  4. Richard Chisik & Ronald B. Davies, 2001. "Asymmetric FDI and Tax-Treaty Bargaining: Theory and Evidence"," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2001-2, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Jun 2002.
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  9. J. Peter Neary, 1995. "Factor Mobility and International Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(s1), pages 4-23, November.
  10. Alan C. Stockman & Harris Dellas, 1987. "Asset Markets, Tariffs, and Political Risk," NBER Working Papers 1413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Giovanni Maggi & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2007. "A Political-Economy Theory of Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1374-1406, September.
  12. Konishi, Hideo & Saggi, Kamal & Weber, Shlomo, 1999. "Endogenous trade policy under foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 289-308, December.
  13. Maggi, G & Rodriguez-Clare, A, 1996. "The Value of Trade Agreements in the Presence of Political Pressures," Papers 180, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  14. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 21-92, Tel Aviv.
  15. Devereux, Michael B. & Min Lee, Khang, 1999. "Endogenous trade policy and the gains from international financial markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 35-59, February.
  16. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1998. "The New Regionalism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1149-61, July.
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  18. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1981. "Theoretical Considerations on Negotiated Tariff Adjustments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 135-53, March.
  19. Bhagwati, Jagdish N. & Brecher, Richard A. & Dinopoulos, Elias & Srinivasan, T. N., 1987. "Quid pro quo foreign investment and welfare : A political-economy-theoretic model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 127-138, October.
  20. Ronald B. Davies, 2004. "Tax Treaties and Foreign Direct Investment: Potential versus Performance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 11(6), pages 775-802, November.
  21. Bhagwati, Jagdish N & Dinopoulos, Elias & Wong, Kar-yiu, 1992. "Quid Pro Quo Foreign Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 186-90, May.
  22. Marcelo Olarreaga, 1998. "Tariff Reductions under Foreign Factor Ownership," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(4), pages 830-836, November.
  23. Blanchard Emily J, 2007. "Foreign Direct Investment, Endogenous Tariffs, and Preferential Trade Agreements," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-52, November.
  24. Brecher, Richard A. & Findlay, Ronald, 1983. "Tariffs, foreign capital and national welfare with sector-specific factors," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 277-288, May.
  25. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Foreign Investment with Endogenous Protection," NBER Working Papers 4876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. William C. Gruben, 2001. "Did NAFTA really cause Mexico's high maquiladora growth?," Center for Latin America Working Papers 0301, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  27. Wilfred J. Ethier, 1998. "Regionalism in a Multilateral World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1214-1245, December.
  28. Schweinberger, Albert G & Vosgerau, Hans J, 1997. "Foreign Factor Ownership and Optimal Tariffs," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, February.
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