Ganeshan Wignaraja, 20 October 2011

South-South trade and trade agreements are booming amid the stalled Doha trade talks and a fragile world economy. In Asia alone, trade agreements have grown from only 3 to 61 between 2000 and 2010. This column examines Asia’s experience and argues that South-South trade agreements should increase their coverage of goods and services and improve consistency with global rules to fully support South-South trade.

James Anderson, Yoto Yotov, 19 May 2011

Free trade agreements are controversial. While they promote trade between the member countries, they may also divert trade away from non-member countries, potentially reducing welfare. This column provides evidence that, even when trade diversion is taken into account, the overall effects are still strongly positive.

Fred Bergsten, 18 May 2011

US trade policy is moving again as major decisions are being made this month on both bilateral FTAs and multilateral negotiations at the WTO known as the Doha Round. This column argues a conclusion of the Doha Round would be useful but notes that if Doha comes off the rail, the US has other options. In particular, the bilateral FTAs and the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks with Asia-Pacific nations. These non-WTO agreements enjoy very strong US constituencies whereas Doha enjoys very few.

Richard Baldwin, 17 May 2011

Most observers in Geneva expect the Doha round to fail. If that happens, this column argues that the prospects for US market-access policy will be grim. New multilateral tariff cutting is unlikely before 2020 and special interest groups in the US will hold back free trade agreements, leaving the country to fall behind in the bilateral market-access game.

Xuepeng Liu, Emanuel Ornelas, 11 May 2011

The economic effects of free trade agreements are widely studied, but what about their political impact? Using data from over 125 countries over the past 60 years, this column argues that by removing protectionism, free trade can lower the government’s power and hence the incentives of autocrats to hold office. All this can help strengthen democracy.

Thorvaldur Gylfason, Per Wijkman, 01 January 2011

With the end of the Balkan conflicts in the late 1990s, the EU and the US set up the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. This column – the first of two – argues that, as well as promoting regional economic integration, the Pact’s central aim was to safeguard peace. It suggests reasons why it took so long for the Balkans to negotiate regional free trade and why they ultimately succeeded.

Philippe Martin, Thierry Mayer, Mathias Thoenig, 09 April 2010

What role can free trade agreements play in an increasingly globalised world? This column argues that both economics and politics matter. Because they involve trade gains, trade agreements reduce the risk of dispute by increasing the opportunity cost of war. But with globalisation, this cost decreases, making such agreements more, not less, important to keep the peace.

Pages

Events

CEPR Policy Research