Computational Analysis of APEC Trade Liberalization
In this study, we use the Michigan Model of World Production and Trade to analyze the economic welfare effects of APEC free trade, unilateral free trade for individual APEC members, and global free trade for all countries/regions covered in the Michigan Model. The Michigan Model is a multi-country, multi-sectoral computational general equilibrium (CGE) model of the global trading system. The version of the model used includes 31 countries/regions plus the rest-of-world and 27 sectors in each country/region. Nineteen APEC members are covered. The computational results suggest that APEC free trade would result in sizable increases in the economic welfare of the individual APEC members in both absolute terms and as a percentage of GDP. There would be trade diversion effects for non-APEC countries, except for the Rest of Middle East. Unilateral free trade for the APEC members would result in larger welfare gains as compared to APEC free trade for 7 of the 19 APEC members. The welfare benefits of APEC free trade are thus larger for more APEC members than unilateral free trade. Finally, global (multilateral) free trade by all of the countries/regions covered in the Michigan Model suggests much larger benefits for all APEC members compared to APEC free trade and APEC unilateral free trade. While global free trade is a limiting case, the computational results presented are testimony to the significant welfare benefits that could be realized from successful pursuit of future multilateral trade liberalization.
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