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Rules of Origin under Regional Trade Agreements

  • Ram Upendra Das

    (Research and Information System for Developing Countries)

Rules of origin (ROO) have emerged as an area in which consensus is hard to achieve among negotiating countries within an RTA. Disagreements over rules of origin have often deferred the implementation of several trade agreements. One of the reasons for this is because ROO are viewed as those obstructing trade. Most of the literature on the subject too argues that ROO reduce efficiency costs in production and restrict market access. It is argued in this paper that both the negotiations and the analytical literature pertaining to ROO display a lack of sound understanding of the implications of rules of origin. Developing a comprehensive view on the subject, with a developmental perspective of ROO, could help prevent wastage of negotiating-time, avoid cumbersome procedures and implement the agreements with the intention to reap the economic benefits of ROO. The paper highlights the economics of ROO, focuses on the issue of near-optimum ROO formulation, presents a factual account of ROO as evolved in South Asia, empirically estimates of the effects of ROO on trade in an FTA and finally makes new policy suggestions relating to ROO implementation and enforcement.

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Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Trade Working Papers with number 22791.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:eab:tradew:22791
Contact details of provider: Postal: JG Crawford Building #13, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, Australian National University, ACT 0200
Web page: http://www.eaber.org

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  1. Kala Krishna, 2005. "Understanding Rules of Origin," NBER Working Papers 11150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Patricia Augier & Michael Gasiorek & Charles Lai Tong, 2005. "The impact of rules of origin on trade flows," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(43), pages 567-624, 07.
  4. Arvind Panagariya & Rupa Duttagupta, 2003. "Free Trade Areas and Rules of Origin; Economics and Politics," IMF Working Papers 03/229, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Cadot, Olivier & de Melo, Jaime & Portugal-Perez, Alberto, 2006. "Rules of origin for preferential trading arrangements : implications for the ASEAN Free Trade Area of EU and U.S. experience," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4016, The World Bank.
  6. VR Panchamukhi & Ram Upendra Das, 2001. "Conceptual and Policy Issues in Rules of Origin: Implications for SAPTA and SAFTA," South Asia Economic Journal, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, vol. 2(2), pages 253-279, September.
  7. Céline CARRERE & Jaime MELO DE, 2004. "Are Different Rules of Origin Equally Costly? Estimates from NAFTA," Working Papers 200412, CERDI.
  8. Rod Falvey & Geoff Reed, . "Rules of Origin as Commercial Policy Instruments," EPRU Working Paper Series 97-20, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
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