Tagged: Trade

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.

World Bank Economic Review – Volume 29, Issue 1

Domestic Tobacco Regulation and International Law

For the most part, conflict between domestic tobacco regulation/international tobacco control instruments and international trade obligations is more imaginary than real. In practice, domestic regulation can be carried out consistently with trade obligations. Nevertheless, there is at least a small chance of actual conflict between international tobacco rules and trade obligations. Where such conflict arises, this paper argues that proper treaty interpretation requires that trade obligations, as the “harder” version of law, would take precedence over conflicting tobacco rules. For public health advocates who have concerns about this, the solution is not to exclude tobacco from trade agreements, but to refine existing trade obligations.

Full-text available in .pdf

Toward Free Trade in Sugar / Daniel R. Pearson

For decades, political support for the U.S. sugar program has been underpinned by the general sense that the costs of producing sugar in this country are quite high relative to prices prevailing in world markets. Thus, the elimination of government support would lead to the certain death of the sugar industry. Recent analysis indicates that this view simply is not correct. Rather, the U.S. industry would continue to produce sugar economically in the absence of government support.

Full-text available in .pdf

Changing power relations in the WTO

This review offers a critical reading of the November 2014 India–U.S. trade deal that unblocked an impasse in the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Doha round and considers what it means for the way we govern global trade. It argues that the agreement, rather than being a ‘victory’ for the developing world or a cause for celebration, may simply reinforce an unfair and problematic system of distributing trade opportunities among WTO members. It may also obscure further the need for a fundamental overhaul of the way global trade is governed. In so doing, the review speaks to broader debates about what happens when ‘rising’ powers replace established states in global institutions in the absence of wider processes of reform; and it adds to growing concerns about the increasing precariousness of least developed countries (LDCs) in international economic regimes.

Full-text available in .pdf

Revenue Substitution? How Foreign Aid Inflows Moderate the Effect of Bilateral Trade Pressures on Labor Rights

This paper investigates how foreign aid inflows moderate bilateral trade-based pressures on the exporting countries’ labor rights. Because aid provides additional resources to recipient governments, it reduces the importance aid-recipient governments attach to the preferences of their export partners. Consequently, aid inadvertently moderates the leverage exercised by importing countries on the governments of exporting, developing countries. Our analysis of a panel of 91 aid recipient countries for the period 1985–2002 lends support to the “revenue substitution” hypothesis. When aid levels are low, bilateral trade-based pressures are associated with improved labor rights. As aid levels rise, however, the effect loses significance.

Full-text available in .pdf

When trade stops: Lessons from the Gaza blockade 2007–2010

This paper uses detailed household expenditure and firm production data to study the welfare consequences of the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip between mid-2007 and mid-2010. Using the West Bank as a counterfactual economy, we find that welfare declined by 14%–27%. Moreover, households with larger pre-blockade expenditure levels experienced larger welfare losses. We show that this large decline in welfare may be due to a combination of resource reallocation and reduced productivity. Workers were reallocated from manufacturing to services, and from industries that use imported inputs intensively, or export. In addition, labor productivity fell by 20% on average.

Full-text available in .pdf