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Eliminating excessive tariffs on exports of least developed countries

  • Hoekman, Bernard
  • Ng, Francis
  • Olarreaga, Marcelo

Most goods imported from developing countries, enter Quad markets duty-free, and, average tariffs in Quad markets are very low. But tariffs for some commodities are over one hundred percent. Such"tariff peaks"are often concentrated in products developing countries want to export: agricultural, and food products - especially such staples as sugar, cereals, and fish; fruits and vegetables; food products with a high sugar content; and, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages - and products from such labor-intensive sectors as apparel, and footwear. Giving least developed countries full duty- and quota-free access in the Quad for peak-tariff products would increase their total annual exports by eleven percent - or roughly $ 2.5 billion. Exports to Quad countries of peak-tariff products, would expand by 30-60 percent. Considering that peak-tariff items account for only a small share of developing countries'exports, granting lest developed countries duty-free access, would have only a negligible impact on other developing countries. For the same reason, Quad imports increase only marginally, suggesting that this factor should not constrain implementation of duty-free access for the poorest countries.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2604.

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Date of creation: 31 May 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2604
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  1. Ianchovichina, Elena & Mattoo, Aaditya & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2001. "Unrestricted Market Access for Sub-Saharan Africa: How Much is it Worth and Who Pays?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2820, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Mattoo, Aaditya & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2000. "Reciprocity Across Modes of Supply in the WTO: A Negotiating Formula," CEPR Discussion Papers 2481, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Ng, Francis & Yeats, Alexander, 1996. "Open economies work better! Did Africa's protectionist policies cause its marginalization in world trade?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1636, The World Bank.
  4. Finger, J. Michael & Schuknecht, Ludger, 1999. "Market access advances and retreats : the Uruguay Round and beyond," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2232, The World Bank.
  5. Michalopoulos, Constantine, 1999. "Trade policy and market access issues for developing countries : implications for the Millennium Round," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2214, The World Bank.
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