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The World Trade Organization Plan What is the WTO? Regional Trade Arrangements Prospects for opening free trade.

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Presentation on theme: "The World Trade Organization Plan What is the WTO? Regional Trade Arrangements Prospects for opening free trade."— Presentation transcript:


2 The World Trade Organization

3 Plan What is the WTO? Regional Trade Arrangements Prospects for opening free trade

4 All markets rest on political structures Trade? GATT/WTO

5 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade became the World Trade Organization in 1995 GATT: 1947-1994 Initial idea: International Trade Organization (ITO – discussed at Bretton Woods) But the ITO failed –Charter drafted 1948 –United States Congress failed to approve it Meantime, GATT had been initially formed with 15 countries – grew from there. On 1 January, 1948 the GATT was signed by 23 countries

6 WTO 153 members as of 2008 – Staff of only 635 –IMF: ~2000 –World Bank: >10,000 2009 Budget: CHF 189,257,600 ~ $170-175 million – –World Bank operating budget ~ $1 billion –Total IMF resources >300 billion Derives most of its income from contributions by its members (size established according to a formula based on share of international trade) – –(Detail: share of international trade (%), based on trade in goods, services and intellectual property rights for the last five years for which data are available. There is a minimum contribution of 0.015%)

7 Initial GATT members (1/1/1948) Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Ceylon, Chile, China, Cuba, the Czechoslovak Republic, France, India, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Southern Rhodesia, Syria, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States

8 The WTO

9 What does the WTO do? Administers trade agreements Provides a forum for negotiations Provides a dispute settlement mechanism

10 3 components 1.A set of principles and rules 2.An intergovernmental bargaining process 3.A dispute settlement mechanism

11 (1) Principles & Rules 1.Market liberalism In the aggregate gains from trade outweigh losses Winners could compensate losers 2.Nondiscrimination Most Favored Nation (MFN): Treat all countries as well as its favorite trading partner National treatment: prohibits the use of taxes, regulations, other domestic policies to advantage domestic over foreign firms

12 Article I: Most Favored Nation (MFN) Source: World Trade Organization, Legal Texts Article I General Most-Favoured Nation Treatment 1.With respect to customs duties and charges of any kind imposed on or in connection with importation or exportation or imposed on the international transfer of payments for imports or exports, and with respect to the method of levying such duties and charges, and with respect to all rules and formalities in connection with importation and exportation, and with respect to all matters referred to in paragraphs 2 and 4 of Article III,* any advantage, favour, privilege or immunity granted by any contracting party to any product originating in or destined for any other country shall be accorded immediately and unconditionally to the like product originating in or destined for the territories of all other contracting parties.

13 MFN exceptions Regional trade arrangements –Free-trade area (NAFTA) or a customs union (EU) Generalized System of Preferences (from 1960s): –Developed countries can apply lower tariffs for developing countries than for their peers

14 Article III: National Treatment Source: World Trade Organization, Legal Texts Article III* National Treatment on Internal Taxation and Regulation 1. The contracting parties recognize that internal taxes and other internal charges, and laws, regulations and requirements affecting the internal sale, offering for sale, purchase, transportation, distribution or use of products, and internal quantitative regulations requiring the mixture, processing or use of products in specified amounts or proportions, should not be applied to imported or domestic products so as to afford protection to domestic production.* 2. The products of the territory of any contracting party imported into the territory of any other contracting party shall not be subject, directly or indirectly, to internal taxes or other internal charges of any kind in excess of those applied, directly or indirectly, to like domestic products. Moreover, no contracting party shall otherwise apply internal taxes or other internal charges to imported or domestic products in a manner contrary to the principles set forth in paragraph 1.*

15 (2) Intergovernmental Bargaining Process Bargain over what? Tariffs and nontariff barriers –Nontariff barriers? Health & safety regulations, standards (environmental), government purchasing practices, quotas, bans, rules of origin, packaging/labeling conditions, complex regulatory environment, licensing Antidumping Intellectual property rights Textiles, agriculture, services, government procurement, e-commerce…

16 9 Bargaining Rounds 1947 Geneva 1949 Annecy 1951 Torquay 1956 Geneva 1960-61 Dillon Round 1964-67 Kennedy Round 1973–79 Tokyo Round 1986-93 Uruguay Round 2002-??? The Doha Round

17 What is Doha Trying to Get Done? Getting a deal done: agriculture for non- agricultural market access (NAMA) Rich countries are increasingly voicing demand for services, as per Singapore agenda F2Zb0 (10 minutes) F2Zb0

18 (3) Dispute Settlement Mechanism The dispute settlement mechanism ensures compliance by helping governments resolve disputes and by authorizing punishment in the event of noncompliance. (Oatley txtbook, p25) How do you tie your hands with out a rope? –(commitment/enforcement questions) –COSTS OF ESCALATION

19 Request for Consultation Request for Panel Panel Ruling Retaliation GATTWTO Request for Consultations Request for Panel Panel Ruling Appellate Body Compliance Panel Arbitration Panel Dispute Settlement: GATT vs. WTO Under GATT, a defendant could block actions. Under the WTO, this cannot happen

20 Concessions and Legal Escalation Source: Busch and Reinhardt 2000 61% of all instances of full concessions under WTO occur prior to ruling

21 Full Concessions Under GATT/WTO Busch & Reinhardt. Developing Countries and GATT/WTO Dispute Settlement. Journal of World Trade 37 (4) 2003: 719-735. NOTE: Displays predicted probabilities from Model 1, holding all other variables at their sample means, moving WTO from 0 to 1 and Complainant's Per Capita Income from its 10 th percentile value ($2,152) to its 90 th ($29,251), with 90 percent confidence intervals.27-.49.41-.64.63-.78.33-.48

22 The WTO Effect While the rich are doing better than the poor going from GATT to WTO (as complainants) This is NOT because the rich win more often or get more compliance ex post. Rather, it is because rich countries settle more in advance of a ruling. Remember, the DV is concessions, not wins The effect of the WTO is through deterrence

23 Regional trade agreements

24 RTAs Free Trade Area (e.g., NAFTA) –Eliminate tariffs amongst members –Members maintain independent trade policies with non-members Customs union (e.g., EU) –Eliminate tariffs amongst members –Common tariff policy with non-members Discriminatory? –Allowed under GATT Article XXIV – as long as tariffs are no higher than the level applied by (ALL***) countries prior to the arrangement –(MERCOSUR led Argentina to raise tariffs on non-members – but not above the level of the highest MERCOSUR member) Currently 190-250 RTAs in operation (up to 400 on the horizon for 2010) More than half are bilateral (e.g., KORUS) Most are free trade agreements

25 Customs Unions Central American Common Market (CACM) Andean Community (CAN) Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) East African Community (EAC) Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC) European Economic Area (EEA) (plus EC – Andorra, EC – Turkey) Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) Southern African Customs Union (SACU) West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU)


27 Why RTAs not the WTO? Sign with particularly important markets New forums Forum shopping! (Busch)

28 Why would you go to NAFTA?


30 Choose the forum that best suits you! NB: –In the absence of the regional option, you may prefer no litigation at all! By moving a lil bit toward free trade under NAFTA –Anti-trade interest groups may weaken –Eventually get to WTO position? –Richardson Hypothesis?

31 Creation or diversion? Should we stick to the WTO or rely on RTAs if we want to increase global trade? Trade creation: RTAs lowers tariffs amongst members, who trade more amongst themselves Trade diversion: RTAs lead members to abandon non-member partners The impact of the RTA on trade is the difference Oatley: No one knows the answer

32 Richardson hypothesis Richardson [J. Intern. Econ. 34 (1993) 39] boldly predicts that trade diversion (and trade creation) may actually cause tariffs to decline! The hypothesis is fundamentally attributable to the presence of a political component in the governments' objective functions. Evidence? Bohara, Alok K., Kishore Gawande and Pablo Sanguinetti. 2004. Trade Diversion and Declining Tariffs: Evidence from Mercosur. Journal of International Economics 64(1): 65-88. This study employs data on Argentinian tariffs before and after Mercosur Argentina was smaller than Brazil, many of its industries faced the possibility of decline due to free trade with Brazil, a country twice its size in total output Result: CONFIRMS RICHARDSON HYPOTHESIS!!!

33 Take-home points WTO is a small international organization Purposes: Provide a negotiation forum, administer trade agreements, provide a dispute settlement mechanism Chief principles: MFN, Nondiscrimination Major negotiation issues: tariffs, nontariff barriers, antidumping, intellectual property rights, textiles, agriculture, services Regarding disputes - most are settled before full escalation So the WTO does not cast many rulings - but it still may have a big effect as a deterrent! Regional trade agreements - FTAs and Customs Unions Forum shopping Richardson Hypothesis


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