A review of EIAs on trade policy in China

The purpose of this study is to review the EIA work that has been carried out on trade policy in China through four case studies, and illustrate how trade policy EIAs can be helpful in achieving better environmental outcomes in the area of trade. Through the trade policy EIA case studies we try to argue for the feasibility of conducting EIAs on economic policies in China. We also discuss the implications of the case studies from the point of view of how to proceed with EIAs on economic policy and how to promote their practice.

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Heterogeneous Effects of Preferential Trade Agreements: How does Partner Similarity Matter?

This paper examines how dissimilarity of partner country characteristics affects the change in trade flows under a preferential trade agreement (PTA). Our results show that the more similar the partner countries are, the larger the increase in intra-bloc trade is under a PTA. Particularly, there is a substantial “development neighborhood premium”: the gain for developing countries from a PTA among themselves is about two and a half times that from partnering with industrial countries. Our findings challenge the perception that by becoming more integrated with industrial countries, developing countries could automatically gain access to a much larger and lucrative export market.

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Assessing Foreign Aid’s Long Run Contribution to Growth and Development

This paper confirms recent evidence of a positive impact of aid on growth and widens the scope of evaluation to a range of outcomes including proximate sources of growth (e.g., physical and human capital), indicators of social welfare (e.g., poverty and infant mortality), and measures of economic transformation (e.g., share of agriculture and industry in value added). Focusing on long-run cumulative effects of aid in developing countries, and taking due account of potential endogeneity, a coherent and favorable pattern of results emerges. Aid has over the past 40 years stimulated growth, promoted structural change, improved social indicators, and reduced poverty.

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Institutional Impact of Foreign Direct Investment in China

China’s success in attracting high levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) has drawn a lot of attention from around the world, and so has the fast growth of Chinese regions that have enjoyed the lion’s share of the FDI inflow. The specific mechanisms through which FDI has benefited the country’s economic development, however, are less clear than the spectacular growth in both the capital flow and the economy.

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How the world trade community operates: norms and discourse / Sungjoon Cho

Based on the new conceptualization of the world trading system as the world trade ‘community’, this article illuminates its internal operation based on legal discourse. The article first defines WTO norms as lingua franca of the world trade community that enables various forms of discourse among members of the community. It then introduces three main institutionalized forms of the WTO discourse, namely adjudication, peer review, and consultation/negotiation. These three forms of WTO discourse are mainly responsible for the diurnal operation of the world trade community. The article also explores the intermodal dynamics among these three forms of WTO discourse and demonstrates that such dynamics might generate both positive and negative consequences.

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The WTO and Regional Trade: a family business? The WTO compatibility of regional trade agreements with non-WTO-members

Numerous WTO members pursue regional economic integration with both other members and non-WTO-members. The resulting derogation from the most-favoured-nation principle needs to be justified in accordance with the relevant WTO provisions. Regional integration in the service sector is expressly allowed between WTO and non-WTO members pursuant to GATS Article V. In the absence of clear regulation, it has been questioned whether the same is true for regional trade agreements (RTAs) covering trade in goods. Providing a comprehensive interpretation, this paper argues that neither GATT Article XXIV nor the Enabling Clause require the WTO membership of all the parties to an RTA.

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Shining a light on fossil fuel subsidies at the WTO: how NGOs can contribute to WTO notification and surveillance

Fossil fuel subsidies undermine efforts to mitigate climate change, and they damage the trading system. Multilateral discussion is hampered by inconsistent definitions and incomplete data, which could increase the risks of WTO disputes. Members do not notify such subsidies as much as they should under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM), which limits the usefulness of the SCM Committee. The reports of the Trade Policy Review Mechanism on individual countries and on the trading system draw on a wider range of sources, creating an opportunity for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to provide the missing data from publicly available sources. We suggest a new template that could be used for such third-party notifications. The objective is to shine a light on all fossil fuel subsidies that cause market distortions, especially trade distortions. The result should be better, more comparable data for the Secretariat, governments, and researchers, providing the basis for better-informed discussion of the incidence of fossil fuel subsidies and rationale for their use.

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