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National Treatment in the GATT

  • Horn, Henrik

    ()

    (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

The National Treatment clause (NT) is the first-line defense 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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File URL: http://www.ifn.se/Wfiles/wp/WP657.pdf
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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 657.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 27 Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0657
Contact details of provider: Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
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  1. 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.
  2. Horn, Henrik, 2006. "National Treatment in the GATT," Working Paper Series 657, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  3. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1999. "Domestic Policies, National Sovereignty and International Economic Institutions," NBER Working Papers 7293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Josh Ederington, 2001. "International Coordination of Trade and Domestic Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1580-1593, December.
  5. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "An Economic Theory of GATT," NBER Working Papers 6049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Giovanni Maggi, 2003. "International agreements on product standard: an incomplete contracting theory," NBER Working Papers 9533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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