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Rules of Origin in North-South Preferential Trading Arrangements with an Application to NAFTA

  • Anson, José
  • Cadot, Olivier
  • de Melo, Jaime
  • Estevadeordal, Antoni
  • Suwa Eisenmann, Akiko
  • Tumurchudur, Bolormaa

All preferential trading agreements (PTAs) short of a customs union use Rules of Origin (RoO) to prevent trade deflection. RoO raise production costs and create administrative costs. This Paper argues that in the case of the recent wave of North-South PTAs, the presence of RoO virtually limits the market access that these PTAs confer to the Southern partners. In the case of NAFTA, it is estimated that up to 40% of Mexico’s preferential access to the US market in 2000 (estimated at 5%) was absorbed by RoO-related administrative costs with non-administrative costs for Mexican firms of about 3% US of import value. These findings are coherent with the view that North-South PTAs could well be viewed like a principal-agent problem in which the Southern partners are just about left on their participation constraint.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4166.

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Date of creation: Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4166
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  1. Rod Falvey & Geoff Reed, 1998. "Economic effects of rules of origin," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 134(2), pages 209-229, June.
  2. Paul Brenton & Miriam Manchin, 2003. "Making EU Trade Agreements Work: The Role of Rules of Origin," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(5), pages 755-769, 05.
  3. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
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