Non-tariff measures and the WTO

Marc Bacchetta, Cosimo Beverelli 31 July 2012

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Data limitations make it difficult to document general trends in the use of non-tariff measures. Nevertheless, WTO internal sources of information suggest that the incidence of ‘public policy’ measures – that is, technical barriers to trade (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures – has been on the rise (on this and other protectionist measures see Evenett 2012).

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  WTO, barriers to trade, GATT, protectionism, non-tariff measures

Preferential trade

Marco Fugazza, Alessandro Nicita 15 December 2010

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The multilateral trading system of the GATT and WTO is rapidly being replaced by a system dominated by preferential trade agreements. Since the conclusion of the Uruguay round in 1994, more than 300 new preferential trade agreements have been implemented.

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  WTO, preferential trade agreements, GATT

Retaliating against exchange-rate manipulation under WTO rules

Michael Waibel 16 April 2010

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Exchange-rate-based trade measures have gained prominence in recent years. Commentators observe such measures not only in the People’s Republic of China, but across a broad range of countries. Competitive devaluations are very much alive as a tool of economic statecraft, especially in the wake of the financial crisis. Mattoo and Subramanian (2008) argue that a fundamentally misaligned exchange rate is the most mercantilist, protectionist policy imaginable. At first sight, one would expect WTO rules to regulate such trade-distorting measures.

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Topics:  Exchange rates

Tags:  WTO, IMF, GATT, exchange-rate policy

Settling the trade/growth dispute – the impact of the Uruguay Round

Alan Taylor, Antoni Estevadeordal,

Date Published

Sun, 08/24/2008

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The link between greater openness to trade and higher growth, once held sacred by economists, has come under contestation in recent years. Lowering trade barriers was perhaps the 1990s Washington Consensus’ most controversial prescription to developing countries, and numerous empirical studies claimed the growth effects of lower tariffs to be minimal.

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The WTO’s difficulties in light of the GATT’s history

Douglas Irwin, Petros C. Mavroidis 29 July 2008

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The recent meeting of trade officials at the World Trade Organization in Geneva failed to reach preliminary agreements that would have made considerable progress toward concluding the Doha Round of trade negotiations. As a result, the outlook for the Round is grim, at least in terms of the immediate future. Inevitably, the failure of the meeting has raised questions about the future of the WTO as a forum for trade liberalisation. Although important progress has been made on some of the technical aspects of the negotiations, the political will to conclude the round appears to be missin

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Topics:  Economic history International trade

Tags:  WTO, international trade, GATT