The “Emulator Effect” of the Uruguay Round on US Regionalism

Using a detailed data set at the tariff line level, we find an emulator effect of multilateralism on subsequent regional trade agreements (RTAs) involving the USA. We exploit the variation in the frequency with which the US grants immediate duty free access (IDA) to its RTA partners across tariff lines. A key finding is that the US grants IDA status especially on goods for which it has cut the multilateral most favored nation (MFN) tariff during the Uruguay Round the most. Our results suggest that the Uruguay Round multilateral “concessions” have elicited subsequent preferential trade liberalization.

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