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Does It Matter Who You Sign With? Comparing the Impacts of North-South and South-South Trade Agreements on Bilateral Trade

Behar, Alberto; Cirera i Criville, Laia
Fonte: Banco Mundial Publicador: Banco Mundial
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Free trade agreements lead to a rise in bilateral trade regardless of whether the signatories are developed or developing countries. Furthermore, the percentage increase in bilateral trade is higher for South-South agreements than for North-South agreements. In this paper, the results are robust across a number of gravity model specifications in which the analysis controls for the endogeneity of free trade agreements (with bilateral fixed effects) and also takes account of multilateral resistance in both estimation (with country-time fixed effects) and comparative statics (analytically). The analytical model shows that multilateral resistance dampens the impact of free trade agreements on trade by less in South-South agreements than in North-South agreements, which accentuates the difference implied by the gravity model coefficients, and that this difference gets larger as the number of signatories rises. For example, allowing for lags and multilateral resistance, a four-country North-South agreement raises bilateral trade by 53 percent while the analogous South-South impact is 107 percent.

The ASEAN Free Trade Agreement : Impact on Trade Flows and External Trade Barriers

Calvo-Pardo, Hector; Freund, Caroline; Ornelas, Emanuel
Fonte: Banco Mundial Publicador: Banco Mundial
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Using detailed data on trade and tariffs from 1992-2007, the authors examine how the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement has affected trade with nonmembers and external tariffs facing nonmembers. First, the paper examines the effect of preferential and external tariff reduction on import growth from ASEAN insiders and outsiders across HS 6-digit industries. The analysis finds no evidence that preferential liberalization has led to lower import growth from nonmembers. Second, it examines the relationship between preferential tariff reduction and MFN tariff reduction. The analysis finds that preferential liberalization tends to precede external tariff liberalization. To examine whether this tariff complementarity is a result of simultaneous decision making, the authors use the scheduled future preferential tariff reductions (agreed to in 1992) as instruments for actual preferential tariff changes after the Asia crisis. The results remain unchanged, suggesting that there is a causal relationship between preferential and MFN tariff reduction. The findings also indicate that external liberalization was relatively sharper in the products where preferences are likely to be most damaging...

Changes in Cross-Border Trade Costs in the Pan-Arab Free Trade Area, 2001–2008

Hoekman, Bernard; Zarrouk, Jamel
Fonte: Banco Mundial Publicador: Banco Mundial
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The Pan-Arab Free Trade Area, negotiated under auspices of the Arab League, came into force in 1997. Under the agreement all tariffs on goods of Arab origin were to be removed by January 1, 2005. This paper summarizes the results of a firm-level survey in nine countries regarding the implementation of the Pan-Arab Free Trade Area. A majority of respondent companies report that tariffs on intra-regional trade have largely been removed, and that there has been a marked improvement in customs clearance-related procedures. Costs associated with administrative red tape and weaknesses in transport-related infrastructure services are ranked as the most important constraints to intra-regional trade. This suggests that from a policy perspective, efforts to reduce real trade costs deserve priority, including transportation and logistics services. Periodic monitoring and assessment of trade incentives and performance would help governments to benchmark performance and identify priority areas for action, at both the national and the sub-regional levels.

U.S.-Japan and U.S.-China Trade Conflict : Export Growth, Reciprocity, and the International Trading System

Bown, Chad P.; McCulloch, Rachel
Fonte: Banco Mundial Publicador: Banco Mundial
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First Japan and more recently China have pursued export-oriented growth strategies. While other Asian countries have done likewise, Japan and China are of particular interest because their economies are so large and the size of the associated bilateral trade imbalances with the United States so conspicuous. In this paper the authors focus on U.S. efforts to restore the reciprocal GATT/WTO market-access bargain in the face of such large imbalances and the significant spillovers to the international trading system. The paper highlights similarities and differences in the two cases. The authors describe U.S. attempts to reduce the bilateral imbalances through targeted trade policies intended to slow growth of U.S. imports from these countries or increase growth of U.S. exports to them. They then examine how these trade policy responses, as well as U.S. efforts to address what were perceived as underlying causes of the imbalances, influenced the evolution of the international trading system. Finally, the authors compare the macroeconomic conditions associated with the bilateral trade imbalances and their implications for the conclusions of the two episodes.

The Role of Trade Costs in Global Production Networks : Evidence from China’s Processing Trade Regime

Ma, Alyson C.; Van Assche, Ari
Fonte: Banco Mundial Publicador: Banco Mundial
Tipo: Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper
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In a seminal contribution, Yi (2003) has shown that vertically specialized trade should be more sensitive to changes in trade costs than regular trade. Yet empirical evidence of this remains remarkably scant. This paper uses data from China's processing trade regime to analyze the role of trade costs on trade within global production networks (GPNs). Under this regime, firms are granted duty exemptions on imported inputs as long as they are used solely for export purposes. As a result, the data provide information on trade between three sequential nodes of a global supply chain: the location of input production, the location of processing (in China) and the location of further consumption. This makes it possible to examine the role of both trade costs related to the import of inputs (upstream trade costs) and trade costs related to the export of final goods (downstream trade costs) on intra-GPN trade. The authors show that intra-GPN trade differs from regular trade in that it not only depends on downstream trade costs...