Two regional trade agreements are centre of attention in Ukraine: the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU – that for the time being Ukraine has rejected – and the Eurasian Customs Union with Russia, that Ukraine has been invited (or pressured) to join. Rather than choosing between the two, Ukraine should focus on reducing policy frictions that negatively affect trade through processes that mobilise firms and industries on both sides of the border. The recent proposal by Ukraine to establish a joint commission among Ukraine, Russia and the EU to promote trade could be a step in this direction.
Bernard Hoekman, Jesper Jensen, David Tarr, 29 November 2013
Jayant Menon, 14 May 2013
Are free trade agreements good for ‘Factory Asia’? This column argues that rather than supporting ‘Factory Asia’, it is more likely that fragmentation trade has prospered despite the noodle bowl of overlapping FTAs in the region. Inter-regional FTAs, on the other hand, may have been able to indirectly support the growth of production networks among existing members, if they led to increased demand for the final goods that the networks produce.
Bernard Hoekman, Selina Jackson, 23 January 2013
The revolution in manufacturing – increasingly known as ‘global value chains‘ – has changed the world of trade policy as much as it has changed the global industrial landscape. This column discusses new research suggesting that border management and transport and telecommunications infrastructure services matter far more than trade tariffs. Improving infrastructure and management would increase global GDP far more than the complete elimination of tariffs. However, it won’t be easy. Tackling supply chain barriers will require dynamic and responsive national and international trade policymaking procedures that are more in step with industrial practices.
Marc Bacchetta, Cosimo Beverelli, 31 July 2012
The WTO and its predecessor the GATT have been remarkably successful in negotiating down tariffs over the past six decades. But trade is still a long way from free and since the global crisis, it is becoming even less so. This column reviews the facts, economics, and motives behind these new non-tariff barriers and discusses the challenges they pose for the WTO.
Markus Poschke, 29 January 2011
Despite recent progress, the cost of complying with entry regulation is still higher in continental Europe compared to Anglo-Saxon or Northern European countries. This column illustrates this point using data from the World Bank and presents some recent research on the negative effect of these entry costs on output and productivity.
Giuseppe Bertola, 27 June 2007
Why are the markets for services so much more difficult to integrate internationally than goods markets?