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Rules of Origin in Preferential Trading Arrangements: Is All Well with the Spaghetti Bowl in the Americas?

Antoni Estevadeordal () and Kati Suominen ()

Economía Journal, 2005, vol. Volume 5 Number 2, issue Spring 2005, 63-103

Abstract: Preferential trading arrangements (PTAs) have proliferated spectacularly over the past decade around the world. Countries in the Western Hemisphere have been particularly prolific builders of PTAs, forging in a veritable spaghetti bowl of multiple and often overlapping agreements. Rules of origin, a key arbitrator of market access in each of these PTAs, epitomize the hemisphere´s spaghetti bowl problem: a growing number of the region´s PTAs carry complex and restrictive rules of origin, and the many rules-of-origin regimes differ from each other. As a result, rules of origin can undercut the trade-creating potential of the region´s hard-earned PTAs. The purpose of this paper is to present an in-depth diagnosis of rules-of-origin regimes in the Americas, and to offer policy recommendations for the region to counter the potential negative effects of rules of origin.

Keywords: Preferential trading arrangements; rules of origin; trade potential (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F13 F15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005
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