Is the WTO Passe?
125 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016 Last revised: 27 Apr 2018
Date Written: June 12, 2015
The WTO has delivered policy outcomes that are very different from those likely to emerge out of the recent wave of preferential trade agreements (PTAs). Should economists see this as an efficient institutional hand-off, where the WTO has carried trade liberalization as far as it can manage, and is now passing the baton to PTAs to finish the job? This paper surveys a growing economics literature on international trade agreements and argues on this basis that the WTO is not pass?. Rather, and subject to some caveats, this survey of research to date suggests that the WTO warrants strong support while a more cautious view of PTAs seems appropriate.
Keywords: International Trade and Trade Rules, Settlement of Investment Disputes, Trade Policy, Rules of Origin, Trade and Multilateral Issues, Competitiveness and Competition Policy, Competition Policy
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