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National Treatment in the GATT

  • Horn, Henrik

The National Treatment clause (NT) is the first-line defence in the GATT (and in most other trade agreements) against opportunistic exploitation of the inevitable incompleteness of the agreement. This paper examines the role of NT as it applies to internal taxation under the GATT. It is shown that despite severely restricting the freedom to set internal taxes, NT may improve government welfare. But it will not completely solve the incomplete contract problem it is meant to remedy. Furthermore, it requires a high degree of economic sophistication on behalf of trade negotiators in order for this beneficial effect to materialize.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5450.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5450
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  1. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Giovanni Maggi, 2003. "International agreements on product standards: an incomplete-contracting theory," Working Papers 229, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Horn, Henrik, 2006. "National Treatment in the GATT," Working Paper Series 657, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  3. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "An Economic Theory of GATT," NBER Working Papers 6049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2001. "Domestic Policies, National Sovereignty, And International Economic Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 519-562, May.
  5. Brian R. Copeland, 1990. "Strategic Interaction among Nations: Negotiable and Non-negotiable Trade Barriers," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(1), pages 84-108, February.
  6. Josh Ederington, 2001. "International Coordination of Trade and Domestic Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1580-1593, December.
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