Regional Trade Integration and WTO Accession; Which Is the Right Sequencing? An Application to the CIS
This paper analyzes the appropriate sequencing between accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the implementation of the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC) customs union and whether the latter facilitates or delays WTO accession for some member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). If EAEC members pursue a coordinated approach toward WTO accession, this may cause delays that benefit some countries at the expense of others. The paper simulates the welfare effects resulting from the two sequencing alternatives (customs union and WTO or the reverse). The results show that, from a consumer surplus standpoint, it would be preferable to join the WTO ahead of the EAEC customs union. This paper does not attempt to assess the welfare implications of joining the EAEC as a political and economic entity, but only the welfare implications resulting from the implementation of the EAEC customs union.
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