Reducing Tariffs according to WTO Accession Rules: The Case of Vietnam
When Vietnam entered WTO in 2007 it was granted an accession period up to 2014. During this period tariffs would have to fall according to the accession agreement. This paper evaluates this 2007-2014 trade liberalization by building an applied general equilibrium model and calibrating it to the Vietnamese data. The model pays careful attention to the fact that Vietnam has many state-owned enterprises that do not behave in a profit maximizing way. The model simulations show that the WTO imposed tariff reforms will reduce the overall welfare level of the Vietnamese households. Moreover, the biggest loss of income will take place among the poor rural households in Vietnam. We propose other tariff reforms that both raise overall welfare and reduce income inequality.
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