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The Cost of Dissolving the WTO: The Role of Global Value Chains

Ahmad Lashkaripour () and Mostafa Beshkar ()
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Ahmad Lashkaripour: Indiana University
Mostafa Beshkar: Indiana University

CAEPR Working Papers from Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington

Abstract: As trade agreements face renewed pressure, we show that the rise of global value chains has multiplied the value of trade agreements to unprecedented levels. We cast our argument using a non-parametric neoclassical trade model that accommodates global input-output networks and nests a wide class of quantitative trade models as a special case. To guide our analysis, we derive analytic formulas for optimal non-cooperative trade taxes in this general framework. These formulas predict the extent of trade restriction if global trade agreements were to dissolve. Mapping these formulas to data, we quantify the value of trade agreements for various countries. We find that the disintegration of existing trade agreements will erase 30% of the overall gains from trade, which amounts to a $2.7 trillion loss in global GDP. Around 41% of this value is driven by the agreements’ facilitation of global value chains.

Pages: 64 pages
Date: 2020-05
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