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Tariff retaliation versus financial compensation in the enforcement of international trade agreements

  • Limao, Nuno
  • Saggi, Kamal

The authors analyze whether financial compensation is preferable to the current system of dispute settlement in the World Trade Organization that permits member countries to impose retaliatory tariffs in response to trade violations committed by other members. They show that monetary fines are more efficient than tariffs in terms of granting compensation to injured parties when there are violations in equilibrium. However, fines suffer from an enforcement problem since they must be paid by the violating country. If fines must ultimately be supported by the threat of retaliatory tariffs, they fail to yield a more cooperative outcome than the current system. The authors also consider the use of bonds as a means of settling disputes. If bonds can be posted with a third party, they do not have to be supported by retaliatory tariffs and can improve the negotiating position of countries that are too small to threaten tariff retaliation.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3873.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3873
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  1. Kyle Bagwell & Petros C. Mavroidis & Robert W. Staiger, 2003. "The Case for Auctioning Countermeasures in the WTO," NBER Working Papers 9920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bagwell, Kyle & Mavroidis, Petros C. & Staiger, Robert W., 2007. "Auctioning countermeasures in the WTO," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 309-332, November.
  3. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  4. van Damme,Eric, 1986. "Renegotiation-proof equilibria in repeated Prisoner`s dilemma," Discussion Paper Serie A 84, University of Bonn, Germany.
  5. Nuno Limão, 2002. "Trade policy, cross-border externalities and lobbies: do linked agreements enforce more cooperative outcomes?," International Trade 0206002, EconWPA, revised 28 Jul 2002.
  6. Ludema, Rodney D., 2001. "Optimal international trade agreements and dispute settlement procedures," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 355-376, June.
  7. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1989. "A Theory of Managed Trade," Discussion Papers 801, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Giovanni Maggi, 1999. "The Role of Multilateral Institutions in International Trade Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 190-214, March.
  9. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 1998. "An economic theory of GATT," Working papers 15, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  10. Klimenko, Mikhail & Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 2008. "Recurrent trade agreements and the value of external enforcement," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 475-499, March.
  11. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2011. "What Do Trade Negotiators Negotiate About? Empirical Evidence from the World Trade Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1238-73, June.
  12. Farrell, Joseph & Maskin, Eric, 1989. "Renegotiation in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 327-360, December.
  13. Nuno Lim�o, 2007. "Are Preferential Trade Agreements with Non-trade Objectives a Stumbling Block for Multilateral Liberalization?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 821-855.
  14. Wilfred Ethier, 2004. "Intellectual Property Rights And Dispute Settlement In The World Trade Organization," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 449-457, June.
  15. Robert Z. Lawrence, 2003. "Crimes and Punishments?: Retaliation under the WTO," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 372.
  16. Park, Jee-Hyeong, 2000. "International trade agreements between countries of asymmetric size," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 473-495, April.
  17. Bagwell, Kyle & Mavroidis, Petros C. & Staiger, Robert W., 2004. "The case for tradable remedies in WTO dispute settlement," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3314, The World Bank.
  18. Chad P. Bown, 2004. "Developing Countries as Plaintiffs and Defendants in GATT/WTO Trade Disputes," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 59-80, 01.
  19. Chad P. Bown, 2004. "On the Economic Success of GATT/WTO Dispute Settlement," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 811-823, August.
  20. Hoekman, Bernard & Saggi, Kamal, 2007. "Tariff bindings and bilateral cooperation on export cartels," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 141-156, May.
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