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Competing Liberalizations: Tariffs and Trade in the 21st Century

Jean-Christophe Bureau, Houssein Guimbard () and Sebastien Jean

No 5962, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo Group Munich

Abstract: This paper proposes a unique overview of trade policies trends since the launch of the Doha Round, based on detailed data on tariffs and trade covering 130 countries. We show that regionalism has delivered limited effective liberalization so far, leading to only a 0.3 percentage point (p.p.) cut in the worldwide average applied tariff duty between 2001 and 2013. WTO commitments (1.0 p.p. average cut) and unilateral liberalizations on a most-favored-nation (MFN) basis (1.3 p.p.) mattered far more on average, with more uneven consequences. As a result, we reckon that trade policy changes between 2001 and 2013 more than halved the worldwide welfare gains to be expected from the tariff-cutting provisions of the hypothetical Doha Agreement. If all ongoing RTA negotiations were concluded, expected gains would fall to one-third of their 2001 level.

Keywords: regional trade agreements; unilateral liberalization; Doha Development Agenda; WTO (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F10 F13 F14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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