Agriculture and the GATT: a time for change
The move toward free trade zones
The agreement on subsidies and countervailing measures: tying one's hands through the WTO
Why would governments agree to restrict their own discretion in setting domestic policies as part of a trade agreement? This paper examines the welfare consequences of the GATT's Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM). If countries which join a trade agreement are given free reign over the use of domestic production subsidies, then after negotiating tariff reductions, governments could undermine the agreement by introducing production subsidies to import-competing producers that effectively act as trade barriers. The SCM restricts the use of domestic subsidies by countries ...
Why are safeguards needed in a trade agreement?
This paper reviews the theoretical and empirical literature on the use of safeguards in a trade agreement. It then analyzes the available data on the use of safeguards by WTO members to examine two hypotheses in the economics literature, that safeguards improve welfare by facilitating tariff reductions and that safeguards improve welfare by providing insurance against adverse economic shocks. I find that countries which undertook larger tariff reductions during the Uruguay Round conducted more safeguards investigations after the WTO was established. However, this result is not robust across ...
Ominous trade winds
An introduction to the WTO and GATT
This article reviews the history of GATT and the WTO. It discusses the founding principles of the post-WW II world trading system--reciprocity and nondiscrimination. Lastly, the article reviews the economics literature on regional trade agreements and administered protection, two important exceptions to GATT's requirement in trade policy.
Agriculture and the GATT: the link to U.S. farm policy
The new protectionism