The Design of Trade Agreements
91 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2016 Last revised: 9 May 2021
Date Written: March 2016
What does economics have to say about the design of international trade agreements? We review a literature on this question, providing detailed coverage on three key design features of the GATT/WTO: reciprocity, nondiscrimination as embodied in the MFN principle, and tariff bindings and binding "overhang." Each of these features is central to the design of the GATT/WTO, and we argue that an economic perspective can go a long way toward revealing a consistent logic to the inclusion of these design features in trade agreements.
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