EIU report on the effects of tariff hikes

Commissioned by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), as part of the ICC World Trade Agenda, an initiative in partnership with Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ‘Aftershock: The pervasive effects of tariff hikes’ is a new report that examines ten areas where negative effects may be felt – from the environment to productivity to rent-seeking.


WTO Launches 2018 Editions of Statistical Publications

At the end of July, WTO launched the 2018 editions of its annual statistical publications: World Trade Statistical Review, Trade Profiles, and World Tariff Profiles.

World Trade Statistical Review 2018 “looks into the latest trends in global trade, with an in-depth analysis of what is being traded in goods and services and who the leading players are. It also looks at the performance of developing economies, the latest developments in regional trade agreements, trade in value-added terms and digital trade.”

Trade Profiles 2018 presents key indicators on merchandise trade and trade in commercial services for 197 economies.

Finally, World Tariff Profiles 2018, jointly produced with the ITC and UNCTAD, “provides comprehensive information on the tariffs and non-tariff measures imposed by over 170 countries and customs territories. Tariff data are presented in comparative tables and in one-page profiles for each economy. Statistics on non-tariff measures by country and by product group complement the data on tariffs.” This publication also includes a special analysis of how least-developed countries make use of preferential tariffs offered by trading partners.

Additional data is available through the WTO’s statistical webpage, WTO’s statistical database, and the International Trade and Market Access online data application.

Book News from WTO Publications, December 2016

The latest issue of Book News from WTO Publications, highlighting recently launched titles and products, is now available.

Featured in this instalment are four new titles:

To learn more about WTO Publications and availability of titles, visit the WTO Publications website or the WTO Bookshop website.

Preferential Trade Agreements between Asymmetric Countries

This paper examines differences in welfare implications between a free trade area (FTA) and a customs union (CU) for member countries differing in their market sizes. In a stylized three-country model of trade under oligopoly, we take into account the conditions that FTA members set external tariffs to induce their exporting firms to comply with Rules of Origin (ROO) within the trade bloc.

Full-text available in .pdf

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.

Full-text available in .pdf

The Effects of Trade and Investment Liberalization on Korea’s FDI

While most of RTA talks have incorporated rules on industrial tariff and non-tariff barriers, services, and trade remedies in the past, countries now seek to co-operate on other areas of policymaking, such as rules on investment. This article provides detailed analysis on the effects of trade and investment liberalization on Korea’s inward and outward foreign direct investment (FDI) by collecting all relevant information on substantive investment provisions contained in all Korea FTAs in force as May 2013 and constructing indices of the extensiveness of investment provisions.

Full-text available in .pdf

Input-trade liberalization, export prices and quality upgrading

This paper explores the impact of input trade liberalization on imported input and exported product prices. Using Chinese transaction data for 2000–2006, we capture causal effects between exogenous input tariff reductions and within firm changes in HS6-traded product prices. For identification, we make use of a natural control group of firms that are exempted from paying tariffs. Both imported input and export prices rise. The effect on export prices is specific to firms sourcing inputs from developed economies and exporting output to high-income countries. Results are consistent with a scenario within which firms exploit the input tariff cuts to access high-quality inputs in order to quality-upgrade their exports.

Full-text available in .pdf