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Can Bilateralism Ease the Pains of Multilateral Trade Liberalization?

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  • Cadot, Olivier
  • de Melo, Jaime
  • Olarreaga, Marcelo

Abstract

Using the influence-driven approach to endogenous trade-policy determination, we show how a free-trade agreement (FTA) with rules of origin can work as a device to compensate losers from trade liberalization. The FTA constructed in this paper is characterized by external tariff structures that are negatively correlated across member countries, ensuring efficiency gains and, through reduced average protection, compatibility with the multilateral trading system’s requirements. It is also politically viable and we demonstrate that, in the countries concerned, governments are willing to include its formation in the political agenda even though, in equilibrium, political contributions from producer lobbies decline after the agreement.

Suggested Citation

  • Cadot, Olivier & de Melo, Jaime & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 1998. "Can Bilateralism Ease the Pains of Multilateral Trade Liberalization?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1878, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1878
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    Cited by:

    1. Ibarra-Yunez, Alejandro, 2003. "Spaghetti regionalism or strategic foreign trade: some evidence for Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 567-584, December.
    2. Caroline Freund, 2010. "Third‐country Effects of Regional Trade Agreements," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(11), pages 1589-1605, November.
    3. Andrey Stoyanov, 2016. "Regional Trade Agreements and Cross-border Lobbying: Empirical Evidence from the Canada–US Free Trade Agreement Negotiations," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 126-149, February.
    4. Cadot, Olivier & de Melo, Jaime & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2000. "The Protectionist Bias of Duty Drawbacks and the New Regionalism," CEPR Discussion Papers 2559, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Cadot, Olivier*de Melo, Jaime*Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2001. "Can duty-drawbacks have a protectionist bias? Evidence from MERCOSUR," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2523, The World Bank.
    6. Debashis Chakraborty, 2007. "IBSAC (INDIA, BRAZIL, SOUTH AFRICA, CHINA): A Potential Developing Country Coalition in WTO Negotiations," Working Papers id:958, eSocialSciences.
    7. Matthew Shearer & Kati Suominen & Antoni Estevadeordal, 2009. "Multilateralising RTAs in the Americas: State of Play and Ways Forward," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 9300, Inter-American Development Bank.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    free-trade areas; Political Economy;

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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