Free trade agreements and the environment with pre-existing subsidies
Countries that wish to erect trade barriers have a variety of instruments at their disposal. In addition to tariffs and quotas, countries can offer tax relief, low interest financing, reduced regulation ,and other subsidies to domestic industries facing foreign competition. In a trade agreement, countries typically agree to reduce not only tariffs, but also subsidies. We consider the effect of a trade agreement on pollution emissions. We show that while reducing tariffs may indeed increase pollution intensive production in a country, reductions in some subsidies required by the trade agreement reduce pollution in general equilibrium for reasonable parameter values. The reduction results from two effects. First, a reduction in subsidies to firms reduces pollution-causing capital accumulation. Second, if subsidized firms, industries, and/or state owned enterprises are sufficiently more pollution intensive, then reducing subsidies moves capital and labor from more to less pollution intensive firms. We calibrate the model to the case of China and show that pollution emissions after China's accession to the WTO are up to 22.9 percent lower than a baseline in which China does not enter the WTO, without any pollution abatement policy changes or environmental side agreements.
|Date of creation:||03 Dec 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA|
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- Low, P., 1992. "International Trade and the Environment," World Bank - Discussion Papers 159, World Bank.
- Hua Wang & Nlandu Mamingi & Benoit Laplante & Susmita Dasgupta, 2003.
"Incomplete Enforcement of Pollution Regulation: Bargaining Power of Chinese Factories,"
Environmental & Resource Economics,
Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 24(3), pages 245-262, March.
- Hua Wang & Mamingi, Nlandu & Laplante, Benoit & Dasgupta, Susmita, 2002. "Incomplete enforcement of pollution regulation : bargaining power of Chinese factories," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2756, The World Bank.
- Piyush Tiwari & Tetsu Kawakami & Masayuki Doi, 2002. "Dual Labor Markets and Trade Reform in China," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 101-113.
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