Volume 3





WTO Issues

Regional Economic Cooperation

Developmental Issues

Call for Publications

WTO Issues

Is Anti-Dumping A Big Deal? China And Developing Country Exporters Of Textiles And Clothing
This Opinion highlights anti-dumping rules and duties, highlighted by a change in the rules governing China’s textile and clothing exports on 31 December 2008. The expiration of US and EU quotas on Chinese textile and clothing exports could put increased competitive pressure on other producers, leading to more recourse to anti-dumping by developed countries concerned at the threat to domestic producers. The Opinion raises concerns about the way in which anti-dumping procedures are carried out. Many governments take action against ‘dumping’ – the export of products at prices

Modeling Services Liberalization : The Case Of Tanzania
This paper employs a 52-sector, small, open-economy computable general equilibrium model of the Tanzanian economy to assess the impact of the liberalization of regulatory barriers against foreign and domestic business service providers in Tanzania. The model incorporates productivity effects in both goods and services markets endogenously, through a Dixit-Stiglitz framework. It summarizes policy notes on the key business service sectors that were prepared for this work, and estimates the ad valorem equivalent of barriers to foreign direct investment based on ………

Article XXIV and RTAs: How Much Wiggle Room for Developing Countries
The issue of ‘WTO Compatibility’ of regional trade agreements (RTAs) has been intensely debated ever since the days of the GATT. RTAs are governed by Article XXIV in the GATT. The Article however does not have a development dimension. This paper argues for the need to insert strong Special and Differential Treatment clauses into Article XXIV in order to be legally consistent with GATS V. It also looks at the ways in which some WTO Members, especially developed countries, have protected their markets in their RTAs.

Doha Resurrection
The Doha Round (and generally the WTO), like the proverbial phoenix, has risen from the ashes of past failures, and it appears that there would be more such resurrections before the Round is sealed; the latest being the call for another round of mini-ministerial in early December at the recently concluded G-20 summit (dubbed as Bretton Woods II by many) at Washington. With several OECD countries already in recession and the rest on the brink, the G-20 communiqué rightly highlighted that free trade should be encouraged and members should not ………….

Developing Country Use of the WTO Dispute Settlement System: Why it Matters, the Barriers Posed
This chapter examines the barriers posed for smaller and poorer World Trade Organization (WTO) members to challenge trade barriers under the WTO’s dispute settlement understanding. It first addresses the implications of the judicialization of the WTO’s dispute settlement system. It next examines reasons why participation in the WTO’s dispute settlement system matters. It then summarizes the results of studies of the system’s use and, in light of these findings, posits explanations for smaller developing countries’ lack of engagement.

Regional Economic Cooperation

Expanding Trade Within Africa: The Impact Of Trade Facilitation
This paper examines the impact of trade facilitation on intra-African trade. The authors examine the role of trade facilitation reforms, such as increased port efficiency, improved customs, and regulatory environments, and upgrading services infrastructure on trade between African countries. They also consider how regional trade agreements relate to intra-African trade flows. Using trade data from 2003 to 2004, they find that improvement in ports and services infrastructure promise relatively more expansion in intra-African trade than other measures.

Changing Faces of International Trade: Multilateralism to Regionalism
Regional trade agreements are an integral part of international trade, they operate alongside global multilateral agreements under the WTO, and they have increased significantly in number and prominence recently. The interface between regionalism and multilateralism is complex and evolving. This paper examines why the countries have preferred regional strategies over the multilateralism and an assessment has been made as to the systemic implications of this new interface. The legal solution for trade regionalism as provided in the law of GATT by virtue of Article XXIV has been dealt with. International trade development ………

Economic Integration in North America
Formal analysis of economic synchronization in North America is scarce. In this document we conduct an econometric exercise to determine the existence of common movements at short-run and long-run horizons among the gross domestic products of Canada, Mexico and the United States. Co integration and common features tests suggest a significant degree of economic interdependence. In particular, for the sample period 1980-2006 we identify the existence of a common trend and two common cycles. Interestingly, we find that the ……….

Small Hubs, Large Spokes and Overlapping Free Trade Agreements
The proliferation of overlapping free trade agreements (FTA) in recent years has led to pair-wise hub-and-spokes (HAS) throughout the world. Being avid subscribers to FTAs, many countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including the United States, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Australia, have become trade hubs to their partners who are in turn relegated to spoke status. In this paper, we question whether being a hub is welfare optimal for a small and open economy such as Singapore compared to membership …….

China And Free Trade: A Failure To Recognize Externalities
As the current financial crisis deepens and talk of Chinese cooperation in bailing out the US and world economies becomes a reality, many economists and policy analysts expect the Obama administration to effectively turn a blind eye to what have previously been contentious issues in US-China relations, such as human rights, Tibet, Taiwan and Chinese military expansion. At the same time, President Bush has been extolling this crisis as an opportunity to recognize the need for increased free trade. Although there are those not only on the Chinese side …………

Developmental Issues

Achieving Economic And Social Rights: The Challenge Of Assessing Compliance
Economic, social and cultural rights were formally recognized within international law in 1966, enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). How can government compliance with obligations under the ICESCR be assessed? How in practice can governments be held accountable for such obligations? There are legal challenges in answering these questions. However, there are also empirical challenges: often, evidence is simply not sufficient to monitor government actions effectively. Or not enough attention is paid.

Global Food Price Inflation: Implications For South Asia, Policy Reactions, And Future Challenges
The surge in global commodity prices of the past few years has presented a tremendous development challenge for South Asian countries. The large loss of income from the terms of trade shock has worsened macroeconomic balances, fueled rapid inflation, and hurt growth. Although commodity prices have come down recently, the benefits are being clouded by the emergence of a severe global financial crisis. The adverse consequences of the food price hike for the poor are large; the global financial crisis could further worsen the situation due to falling economic opportunities and government revenues.

Can Maquila Booms Reduce Poverty? Evidence From Honduras
This paper identifies and estimates the strength of the reduction in poverty linked to improved opportunities for women in the expanding maquila sector. A simulation exercise shows that, at a given point in time, poverty in Honduras would have been 1.5 percentage points higher had the maquila sector not existed. Of this increase in poverty, 0.35 percentage points is attributable to the wage premium paid to maquila workers, 0.1 percentage points to the wage premium received by women in the maquila sector, and 1 percentage point to employment creation.

Paradox and Promise in the Philippines: A Joint Country Gender Assessment
Country gender assessments analyze gender and development issues to help governments and stakeholders promote gender equality and empower women. The report was prepared by a team from the Asian Development Bank, Canadian International Development Agency, European Commission, United Nations Children's Fund, United Nations Development Fund for Women, and United Nations Population Fund, in partnership with the Philippine Government's National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women. Through a series of regional consultations ………

Trade Policy, Trade Costs, And Developing Country Trade
This paper briefly reviews new indices of trade restrictiveness and trade facilitation that have been developed at the World Bank. The paper also compares the trade impact of different types of trade restrictions applied at the border with the effects of domestic policies that affect trade costs. Based on a gravity regression framework, the analysis suggests that tariffs and non-tariff measures continue to be a significant source of trade restrictiveness for low-income countries despite preferential access programs. This is because the value of trade preferences is quite ……

Call for Publications

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