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Barriers to Trade in Environmental Goods and Environmental Services: How Important Are They? How Much Progress at Reducing Them?

Author

Listed:
  • Jaime de Melo

    (FERDI)

  • Mariana Vijil

    (FERDI)

Abstract

Barriers to trade in Environmental Goods (EGs) and Environmental Services (ESs) are documented for a large sample of countries and compared with barriers to trade in other goods and other services. Some progress at reduction in barriers has occurred at the national, regional and sectoral levels but not at the multilateral level, where countries have been unable to agree on an approach to reduce barriers to trade. For EGs, tariffs and NTBs are highest for low-income countries and low for high-income countries. First-order estimates of the import response to a 50% reduction in tariffs for low-income countries suggest an increase in imports of around 4%. For ESs, estimates draw on the comparison of an Environment Services Liberalization index calculated across modes and services sub-sectors. The limitations of this ordinal index coupled with the inadequacy of the UN CPC list where services are defined in an exclusionary manner so that they cannot appear on two lists, casts greater uncertainty as to the informational content of the commitment measures presented here which, at best, indicate bindings on market access and national treatment rather than actual policies. It would appear nonetheless that at least as great, and probably greater commitments took place in the environmental sectors (as defined by the CPC) both multilaterally and regionally than for ‘other’ services with the same pattern across income groups: greater commitments observed for HIC than for MICs and LICs although it is widely recognized that GATS commitments by HICs largely amounted to consolidated members’ unilateral services policies. North-South Regional Trade Agreements resulted mostly in commitments by the Southern partners indicating greater prospects for reducing barriers to trade in a regional than in a multilateral context.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaime de Melo & Mariana Vijil, 2014. "Barriers to Trade in Environmental Goods and Environmental Services: How Important Are They? How Much Progress at Reducing Them?," Working Papers 2014.36, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2014.36
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hiau LooiKee & Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2009. "Estimating Trade Restrictiveness Indices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 172-199, January.
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    7. Massimo Geloso Grosso, 2005. "Managing Request-Offer Negotiations under the GATS: The Case of Environmental Services," OECD Trade Policy Papers 11, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jacob, Arun & Møller, Anders K, 2017. "Policy landscape of trade in environmental goods and services," MPRA Paper 78774, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Bouwe R. Dijkstra & Anuj J. Mathew, 2016. "Liberalizing trade in environmental goods and services," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(4), pages 499-526, October.
    3. Jaime DE MELO & Mariana VIJIL, 2014. "The Critical Mass Approach to Achieve a Deal on Green Goods and Services: What is on the Table? How Much to Expect?," Working Papers P107, FERDI.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental Goods; Environmental Services; Doha Round; Tariff Reductions;

    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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