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The ASEAN Free Trade Agreement - Building Bloc or Stumbling Bloc for Multilateral Trade Liberalization?

Andreas Lendle ()
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Andreas Lendle: IUHEI, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva

No 23-2007, IHEID Working Papers from Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies

Abstract: This paper investigates empirically whether the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement had a building bloc or stumbling bloc effect on subsequent changes in MFN tariffs of four major ASEAN members. The method resembles the one recently used by Nuno Limão. We use tariff data to test whether MFN tariffs were changed differently for preferential products compared to otherwise similar products without a preference. We find a significant building bloc effect for Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. MFN tariffs of preferential products were reduced by more than for non-preferential products. We obtain ambiguous effects for Malaysia. This suggests that overall the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement has rather helped than hindered non-discriminatory trade liberalization.

Keywords: Trade; ASEAN; Regionalism; preferential trade agreements (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D78 F13 F14 F15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 38
Date: 2007-09-24
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